New voices in science communication

The search is on for the new voices of science communication.The regional heats of FameLab UK, the UK’s biggest competition for new talent to engage the public in science, will start in October 2011.  

FameLab was set up in 2004 by Cheltenham Science Festival in partnership with NESTA.  In 2007 the competition was adopted by the British Council as one of its flagship science engagement projects first in a South East Europe pilot and then expanding this in 2010 to include 16 across Europe, Asia and Africa. In 2012, 20 countries will be taking part in the competition.

The organisers are looking to attract enthusiastic early career scientists to take part in order to identify a new generation of individuals who can engage the public. FameLab not only inspires the next generation of science communicators but excels at building the skills that will enable scientists and engineers to explain, debate, discuss and be challenged.  

The competition is open to contestants over 21 years old and working in or studying science, technology, engineering, medicine or maths in the UK.  Contestants have just three minutes to prove themselves to a panel of expert judges, with only the best going forward to the next round. 

Heats are taking place in: 


  • Newcastle, Centre for Life on 8 October 2011 
  • Oxford, Science Oxford on 20 and 25 October 2011 (final on 17 November) 
  • Cardiff, Chapter Arts Centre on 12 November 2011 
  • Glasgow, Glasgow Science Centre on 19 November 2011 
  • London, King’s College London on 23 and 30 November 2011 (final on 30 November) 
  • Manchester, Museum of Science and Industry on 3 December 2011 


Contestants who can’t attend one of the regional heats will also be able to submit their entries online. 

The UK National Final will take place on 21 March 2012 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. 

Contestants taking part in the final will get the chance to take part in a weekend FameLab Master Class with Professor of Sciences and Society at Bristol University, Kathy Sykes, and experienced trainer, specialising in media & communication skills, Malcolm Love.

The UK winner, chosen at the final, will win a place in the International Final and take home £1000 for themselves and up to £750 to spend on a science communication activity, whether it’s attending a conference, further training or developing a new event or activity.