FameLab, an international competition for young academics, is to be held in the centre of Wageningen for the very first time. In recent years, the host location was the Impulse building on campus, but it is now moving to De Wilde Wereld. A total of eighteen participants will take part in FameLab Wageningen in the evening of Friday 16 March. The two winners will advance to the national finals in Utrecht on 9 May.
FameLab has its origins in the 2005 edition of the Cheltenham Science Festival. It quickly became apparent that the storytelling competition was an excellent, low-threshold way for academics to introduce themselves and their research to the broader public. Participants should be between 21 and 40 years old and must spin a tale about their research to a jury within three minutes. It must be told in such a way that even a layperson can easily follow it.
The originally English FameLab quickly grew into an international competition. More and more countries participate every year; this year, about thirty. Wageningen University & Research has been participating since 2014. Last year, two Wageningen academics made it to the national final: Sabine Vreeburg and Sophie Le Hesran.
The Wageningen judging panel is chaired by Cathelijne Stoof. She is a fan of FameLab and sees it as a great way for academics to stoke the public’s interest in their research. 'It is becoming increasingly important to show society what you are doing as a researcher. There is an interesting story in every type of research, whether it is fundamental or very applied.'
'The trick is,' says Stoof, 'to first recognize that story and then tell it in an easy understandable way. FameLab helps young researchers in this process and offers them a platform to reach the general public with their amazing, exciting or unexpected stories.”
FameLab Wageningen will take place on Friday 16 March in De Wilde Wereld, Burgtstraat 1, Wageningen (city centre). The doors will open at 18:30. Start: 18:45. End: 22:00