FameLab is the world's leading science communication competition. It is designed to inspire, motivate and develop scientists and engineers to actively engage with the public and stakeholders.
A partnership with the British Council and The Times Cheltenham Science Festival has seen more than 9000 emerging scientists and engineers participate from over 30 countries since 2007. In Ireland, FameLab has been running for only 4 years but already boasts an amazing network of 50+ science communicators, all skilled and committed to sharing their work and knowledge with public audiences nationally and internationally.
FameLab Ireland is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland and is supported by Cpl Resources Plc and Henkel Ireland Limited. It is managed by the British Council Ireland in collaboration with a host of top-class partners from higher education, research, media and public engagement across Ireland.
Meet this year's FameLab Ireland participants:
1. Christopher Lally – Antibiotic Resistance
Christopher is a PhD student at Cúram, NUI Galway, and has studied neuroscience and biotech. He has also spent some time in the biopharma industry making chronic pain medicine for – not humans – but cats and dogs! His interests extend outside the lab and he’s a big fan of sci-fi, tech news, philosophy and comedy.
2. Kate Finucane – A Lighthouse in the Stars
Kate is currently in her third year studying astrophysics at Trinity College Dublin. She really enjoys public speaking, especially when she gets the opportunity to talk about something she is passionate about. Speaking of which, her hobbies include learning about space, thinking about space, and talking about space to anybody that will listen.
3. Simone Iadanza – Digital Apocalypse: Initiated
Simone graduated from Politecnico di Milano, Italy in 2016, after which he enrolled in a PhD in nanophotonics at CIT and Tyndall. His research interests are varied and include nanophotonics, optoelectronics and nanofabrication: photonic crystals, silicon photonics, semiconductor laser dynamics – all of which just means that he really, really, really loves lasers.
4. Alina Ostrowska – Autophagy: Recycling in an attempt to survive
Alina is a final year biomedical science student in NUI Galway majoring in biochemistry. She was awarded the All Ireland Scholarship in 2014 and works as a piano teacher and student ambassador. A travel enthusiast and curious by nature, she thrives on making the uncomfortable comfortable.
5. Sharon Omiwole – Willy Wonka and the Coffee Factory
Sharon is a medical student with a keen interest in science. She credits her father, a doctor, for inspiring her to pursue medicine. She has dedicated her spare time to volunteering in clinics, retirement homes, day-cares and homeless shelters. She strives to live a life of purpose and help others.
6. Daragh Bradshaw – People who say they sleep like babies don’t have any
Daragh is a batman enthusiast studying for his PhD at the Centre for Social Issues in the Psychology Department at the University of Limerick. His current research explores ways of supporting families of children whose fathers have been imprisoned.
7. Samantha Calthrop – RNA and the Origins of Life
Samantha is an undergrad at UCC studying biological, earth and environmental sciences, and is a self-described hopeful ecologist. She’s really looking forward to gaining some sci-comms experience and FameLab marks her first foray into this world!
8. Eoin Murphy – The Difference a Moment Can Make
With a background in biotechnology, Eoin jetted off to Canada to continue his studies in leukaemia research. He spent some time as a teacher and is no stranger to educating audiences. Eoin is currently a full time PhD student and is a science ambassador for NUI Galway.
9. Maureen Williams – Protect the Parasites!
Maureen hails from the centre of the Sunshine State: Orlando, Florida, where she grew up in the water. She's found a new home working in Irish waters at TCD, and her PhD links aquatic ecology, parasitology and zombies.
10. Ronaldo do Amaral – To Genetics and Beyond!
Ronaldo researches skin wound healing at the Royal College of Surgeons as a post-doc where he focuses on the regeneration of damaged tissues and organs. Hailing from Brazil originally, Ireland ignited in him a great passion for scientific communication. He and his wife love to share their lab activities on Instagram.
Do you have what it takes?
If you think you can explain a scientific concept to a general audience, in just three minutes, then why not enter? You could become the new face of science, represent Ireland at the FameLab International finals in the UK, and open doors to national and global opportunities in science communication!
Listen here to some previous FameLab Ireland winners on why you should sign up and how the competition has changed their lives.