Heriot-Watt Engage hosted the first Scottish heat of Famelab, the international competition that hunts out the best new science and engineering communicators, this week.
FameLab is designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three-minute presentations. It's the biggest science communications competition in the world, and trains and mentors scientists to share their enthusiasm with the public.
Communicating what's fascinating and relevant about scientific research is a real skill.
Eighteen competitors from Edinburgh, Fife and beyond took part in the Edinburgh heat, including a number of students from Heriot-Watt. Each of the contestants gave a three-minute, strictly powerpoint-free presentation to the audience.
Bill MacPherson, Associate Professor of Applied Optics in Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, and chief judge on the day, said: “From delivery drones and artificial intelligence to why Jack and Jill went up the hill, the audience was educated and impressed by the quick and precisely timed nuggets of information.
“Communicating what's fascinating and relevant about scientific research is a real skill. All the participants were fantastic in the way they engaged the audience in an entertaining and informative manner.”
“We were extremely impressed with the clarity and content of the finalists' presentations.”
The panel of judges included representatives from the four Edinburgh universities and RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.
Heriot-Watt Engage will organise the Scottish final, to be held on 7 January 2017 at the National Museum of Scotland. Winners of that round will progress to the UK and then international finals.