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Tyndall Maker in Chief in the final to be Ireland’s new face of science

Posted on: 11 Apr 2017

Tyndall Maker in Chief in the final to be Ireland’s new face of science

Supported by the British Council and Science Foundation Ireland, FameLab provides individuals working in or studying STEM with the skills to share their science with a wider audience

Matthew Tosh, Presenter and Training Consultant, Marica Cassarino, UCC Applied Psychology, Will Knott, Maker in Chief and Teaching and Outreach Specialist Tyndall & Jonathan McCrea presenter of Futureproof on Newstalk.

Will Knott, Maker in Chief and Teaching and Outreach Specialist at Tyndall will be among 10 of the best new science communicators from around Ireland who are heading to the Science Gallery Dublin next week for the fifth FameLab Ireland National Finals. The prestigious competition aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective.

Each contestant will deliver a 3 minute talk on their chosen topic - from the physics behind Guinness to the power of placebo and the science of figs. Every presentation will be judged by a prestigious panel of experts according to the golden rule of the 3 Cs: content, clarity and charisma. The winner will then go on to represent Ireland in the International Finals at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK, where Ireland has already an impressive track record.

Communicating science accessibly and attractively is an ever-growing priority for researchers and others working in and studying science worldwide. Organised by the British Council Ireland and funded through the Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme, FameLab helps emerging scientists acquire valuable skills to communicate their work to a non-scientific audience. By doing so, they not only change the common stereotype of the scientist as “the geek in the white lab coat busy doing strange things”, but also justify public funding for their work.

“FameLab aims to inspire, motivate and develop scientists and engineers to engage with the public on science in just three minutes. This is directly linked to the British Council’s aim to offer young people learning opportunities, help improve the quality of education and bring together current and future leaders to tackle issues facing society,” Alf Desire, Director, British Council Ireland.

Commenting on Famelab Ireland, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications, Science Foundation Ireland, said “Congratulations to all this year’s Famelab participants on their dedication to creating and delivering fantastic presentations. Science Foundation Ireland, through the SFI Discover Programme, aims to encourage more people to engage with STEM. Famelab helps realise that aim by offering participants the opportunity to gain vital skills in communicating what can be complex research topics in an engaging way, inspiring others to join the conversation”.

Since its birth at the Cheltenham Science 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 10000 young scientists and engineers participating to date in more than 35 different countries.

The FameLab Ireland final will take place at the Science Gallery Dublin on Thursday 13 April at 6pm. Tickets are free and can be reserved here

The event will be live streamed and you can watch from 6pm on Thursday 13 April via 
After the event, it will be available to watch on YouTube.

The FameLab Ireland final is hosted by TV and radio broadcaster and founder of SCI:COM, Jonathan McCrea.

The judging panel is: Sarita Johnston (Manager Female Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Ireland), Dr Tim McCormac (Head of Research, Dundalk Institute of Technology) and Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (Asst Professor, School of Mathematics & Statistics, UCD).

More information on the 10 FameLab Ireland 2017 finalists can be found at You can also keep up with all of the action by following @famelab_ireland and join the conversation using #FameLab.