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Who will be 2014’s international face of science?

Twenty-three of the best science communicators from around the globe are heading to The Times Cheltenham Science Festival this week for the seventh FameLab International Finals. The prestigious competition – organised by the British Council and Cheltenham Festivals - aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective - in just three minutes.

FameLab International Finals

Since its birth at the Festival in 2005, FameLab has grown into the world’s leading science communication competition. A partnership with the British Council since 2007 has seen the competition go global with more than 5000 young scientists and engineers participating to date in more than 23 different countries.

Each contestant will deliver a three-minute presentation on their chosen topic - from the science inside our brains, to the exploration of the stars. Every presentation will be judged according to the golden rule of the 3 Cs: content, clarity and charisma.

The 2014 UK finalist Caroline Shenton-Taylor, an industrial physicist, who received her Physics degree and PhD from the University of Warwick, emerged from tough competition to win the national final, and will be competing in the FameLab International semi-final 2 on Wednesday 4 June. Caroline triumphed at the UK Final with her presentation about the history of nuclear magnetic resonance and how a cup of tea stirred up a new approach to cross-disciplinary science.

Professor Russell Foster FRS, Chair of The Times Cheltenham Science Festival said:

World class science not only excites our thirst for knowledge but underpins economic growth in every nation, and there has never been a more important time to communicate science to all sectors of society across the globe. FameLab provides the ideal crucible for scientists from around the world to learn and forge their ability to communicate science and convey the thrill of undertaking scientific research.

This year there will be two semi-finals, taking place on the Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 of June, to select the contestants that will compete at the grand final on Thursday 5 June at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival.

Communicating science accessibly and attractively is an ever-growing priority for researchers worldwide. FameLab helps young scientists acquire valuable skills to communicate their work with passion to a non-scientific audience. By doing so, researchers do not merely change the common stereotype of the scientist as “the geek in the white lab coat”, but also justify public funding for their research.


Get involved

Both the semi-finals and the final will be live streams, and you can watch all at

You can also keep up with all of the action by following @FameLabUK and @CheltFestivals, and join the conversation using #FameLab. The audience will be able to vote for their favourite finalist.