On March 31st, 2016, I was one of the three members of the judging panel for the Swiss semi-final of the Famelab 2016 contest in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Famelab is an international contest in which researchers reach out to the general public by giving short presentations, in 3 minutes or less, unaided by slides (but props are allowed), on the area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) that they have been researching.
Over the years, 8000 speakers have presented their research, in 22 countries (which makes the contest more important than Ma Thèse en 180 secondes).
As a member of the jury, alongside with Dr Ksenia Tugay and Professor Thierry Buclin, I was expected to assess each performance based on 3 criteria: the content (scientific accuracy), the clarity of the talk, and the charisma of the speaker, to determine the 6 contenders who would make it to the Swiss finals in Zürich on May 19th, 2016.
The event was hosted by the brilliant Dr. Adria Le Boeuf, scientist, science communicator, and founder of the Catalyst (a group of scientific researchers who use entertainment as a means of engagement with the public). It was actually great fun; I spent a fantastic evening!
I have been bragging a lot about how scientists are usually quite bad at communication. I guess this was true for the previous generations of scientists. This generation is really pushing very hard to share their stories with non-experts, and this gives me high hopes :)
Congrats to the 6 finalists and especially to the winner Désirée König (photo)!
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