Fame! Science and energy hit the bright lights

Summary:Lights! Camera! Bacteria! Antimatter! Renowned Swiss research lab CERN is thrusting science onto center stage of a celebrity-obsessed world, with a competition to crown a grand communicator.

CERN's Globe of Science and Innovation will rock this Saturday, as researchers gather to vie for the grand communicator crown. Photo from CERN.

Renowned high energy physics lab CERN is doing its part to thrust science into the bright lights of a celebrity obsessed world.

The Geneva based home of the Large Hadron Collider this weekend will host the Swiss version of FameLab, an international competition aimed at crowning an 18-to-35 year old as science's communicator laureate.

"FameLab is an international science communication competition for young researchers. It aims to find the new voices of science and engineering across the world," CERN says on its website. "To compete, all you have to do is prepare a 3-minute talk that is both engaging and scientifically accurate and aimed at a non-scientific audience. So far, 23 researchers have signed up to present topics ranging from neurobiology to the speed of light."

Ten finalists will go to a Zurich bake-off in March to determine which one of them represents Switzerland at the FameLab international competition at June's Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. The competition is run by the British Council, an international cultural relations charity partially funded by the British government, and by the UK's the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Myrtani Pieri from the University of Cyprus won top prize last year.

Past contestants have amused, entertained and informed audiences with shtick ranging from comedy to performance art to music to sobriety. Winners at various stages get booty like a digital camera and a laptop, plus a 2-day master class in science communication.

"Are you passionate about your job and keen on exciting public imagination with a vision of 21st-century science? Then this competition is for you," CERN says.

Get ye to Geneva this Saturday, and to Cheltenham in June. Lights! Camera! Antimatter!

Fame photo from XtraT via Wikimedia.

Other shows at CERN:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter.

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