Chennai: Underscoring the significance of India’s strong scientific heritage and its potential for technological innovations, British Council is inviting applications from scientists, engineers, mathematicians and researchers for FameLab India 2017 – world’s largest science communication platform that it launched in India earlier this year. The competition is aimed at presenting scientific concepts in an interesting and innovative manner to the non-science audience. Open to applicants aged over 20 – 40 years as on 1 June 2016, the competition requires students to fill in an application form and submit a three-minute video of their ‘Science Talk’ in a unique format. The winner of the national FameLab competition will get an opportunity to represent India and compete with contestants from over 27 countries at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK in June 2017. The last date for applying to FameLab India is 15 November 2016.
Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India said, "We firmly believe FameLab will connect with young audiences in India, provide an innovative communication platform to make science accessible to all and encourage the next generation of researchers. We are delighted to partner with the University of Kerala and the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for our regional finals in South India."
Prof P K Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, University of Kerala said: "By encouraging communication of scientific outcomes to the society through FameLab, we are adding a great value to higher education"
Dr Suresh Das, Executive Vice President, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) said: "Our young scientists and engineers will be the architects of the science, technology and innovation landscape of our country in the coming years. I am delighted to hear that FameLab is providing them a platform to express their voice."
The South India regional finals will be held on 30 November 2016 at Tagore Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram. The regional finals will be preceded by a two-day residential science communication workshop to be led by eminent science communicator Prof Iain Stewart from Plymouth University, UK.
The national finals of FameLab India will be held at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune in January 2017.
FameLab works towards encouraging scientists to inspire and excite the public’s imagination with a vision of science in the 21st century. The competition will provide a platform for researchers to put forth their ideas to the public in an interesting manner; enhance their communication and presentation skills; and engage with like-minded individuals and alumni network besides. Shortlisted applicants from each region will get an opportunity to attend a fully funded science communication workshop jointly delivered by UK and Indian trainers in each region. The FameLab finalists will also get an opportunity to attend a science communication masterclass lead by the best UK trainers. .
Cheltenham Festivals began FameLab in the UK in 2005 but, with British Council involvement since 2007, the programme is now truly international, taking place in 27 countries in 2016. National FameLab programmes currently run in Australia, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.
There is growing, unprecedented global FameLab network of 5000 multi-disciplinary, multi-national, early-career researchers, connected with research, industry and education networks, that are helping to address the issues of diversity and mobility (including social mobility) to support the future growth of the STEM pipeline and the wider social economic benefit this delivers. More than 200 local partners including ministries of education, ministries of science, universities, science foundations and academies already support FameLab, underlining its importance to science communication across the world.
The UK is the world leader in the area of science communication – there are academic programmes in the field and a number of annual, exciting science festivals. Science Communication is a recognised profession and the UK’s experience in science communication has changed the way the media report on scientific topics.
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