On 13 April 2017, Deirdre Robertson was declared winner of FameLab Ireland for her talk ‘Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Unfreezing the Brain’, which explains the process of visual cueing, a rehabilitation technique used to assist those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Deirdre is a psychologist who applies behavioural insights to policy and health. She is a research officer in the Economic and Social Research Institute of Ireland and an adjunct assistant professor in Trinity College Dublin. Before this, Deirdre spent a year working as a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia University in New York until her supply of Barry's Tea dwindled and she decided to move home. As part of her research Deirdre investigates how our minds affect our bodies, often without awareness, and what this means for health.
Deirdre will be Ireland's representative at the international FameLab competition at the Cheltenham Times Science Festival on 6-8 June, where she will be up against 30 other science communicators from across the world - making the 2017 competition the largest to date!
This year’s finals will feature contestants from Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kazakhstan, Latvia/Estonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and Vietnam.
Each contestant will take part in one of three semi-finals where they will deliver a three-minute presentation on their chosen topic. Every presentation will be judged according to the golden rule of the 3 Cs: content, clarity and charisma.
Deirdre will be competing in the second Semi-Final on Wednesday 7 June and, if selected as one of the top contestants, she will then go on to present at the International Grand Final on Thursday 8 June. Thursday's event will be livestreamed on the FameLab International Facebook pageOpens in a new tab or window. from 8.30pm - 10.00pm Ireland time.
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 9000 emerging scientists and engineers participating to date. In Ireland, FameLab has been running since 2013 and is funded through the SFI Discover Programme.