The Beltane Network and the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow have teamed up with FameLab, the UK’s biggest competition to discover new talent to engage the public in science, engineering, technology and maths. FameLab challenges contestants to explain a scientific concept in just three minutes to a panel of judges looking and listening out for content, clarity and charisma.
FameLab Scotland Final – 17 January 2015
Competitors battled it out to be the next big voice of science and engineering at the Scotland Final on 17 January 2015 at the National Musum of Scotland. Tickets were sold out and the audience were treated to eight three-minute bursts of science interspersed with an interactive quiz and Bright Club-esque Computing Science based comedy.
Lewis MacKenzie was selected by the judges as the winner going through to the UK final.
Miho Janvier was the wildcard choice, meaning she goes into a video heat with the other regional wildcards for a place in the UK final.
Timothy Revell won the audience favourite vote.
Who was involved?
Our eight Scotland finalists had already battled their way through heats in Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Glasgow with topics ranging from the practical to the bizarre such as “Why do my headphones get so tangled in my pocket?”, “Human Evolution: How an orphan species puzzles its family tree” and “What is the Sun up to? This week’s space weather forecast”.
This year’s FameLab Scotland finalists were:
- Miho Janvier (University of Dundee) – “Finding new worlds and saving lives on Earth: the beauty of space exploration”
- Scott Jess (University of Aberdeen) – “Frozen: Earth’s Frosty Past”
- Lewis MacKenzie (University of Glasgow) – “Seeing red to save lives”
- Hadir Marei (Cancer Research UK, Manchester Institute) – “Evil Movement”
- Luke Masters (University of St Andrews) – “A Strange Substance”
- Timothy Revell (University of Strathclyde) – “Maths and Music”
- Michael Stringer (University of Aberdeen) – “The other side of the apple”
- Kyle Marian Viterbo (University of Edinburgh) – “Discovering the Last Other Humans”
The talented winner will take part in a weekend science communication masterclass before taking to the stage for the UK final at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, on 22nd April 2015 where they have the chance to take home £1,750 to further their career in science communication.
This year’s FameLab Scotland judges were:
- Marcel Jaspars, Professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Aberdeen
- Richard Middlemiss, Physicist, Engineer & FameLab UK finalist 2014, University of Glasgow
- Colin Pulham, Professor of High-Pressure Chemistry, University of Edinburgh
- Elsa Davidson, National Museum of Scotland
Past winners of FameLab have gone on to travel the globe, perform in festivals and feature on national TV and radio, and many combine public-facing activity with on-going research. All finalists become part of a global network of science communicators.
Another chance to take part in the UK final
The Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow heats took place in November and December 2014 but if you missed these, you still have the option of taking part by video entry. Submit a 3 minute video following the standard FameLab guidelines and you could be in with a chance of a place in the UK final 22 April, 2015 at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London. The deadline for entries is midnight 28 February 2015.
FameLab aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists and engineers who can inspire people to see the world from a new perspective. The competition is the brainchild of The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. In 2014/15 the UK competition is supported by EDF Energy, Haseltine Lake LLP and The Royal Society of Chemistry.