Padriac Flood beat back nearly 2,000 scientists from 22 countries to be crowned the FameLab International Champion 2014 on Thursday 5 June at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, UK. Padraic, from the Netherlands, discussed improving photosynthesis to prevent food scarcity.
Padraic’s talk first took the audience into the leaf and told them about the mechanics of photosynthesis, leading to where light meet’s water, saying “it is at this point that life becomes light”. He then told the audience about food shortage in the future and how we might combat this through improving photosynthesis.
After winning Padraic Flood said,“FameLab is fantastic, it opens a direct dialogue between scientists and the public, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it this year”
Second place was awarded to two runners up; David Davila who won the FameLab France competition and Lyl Tomlinson who won FameLab US.
The final was held in front of a packed audience at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, with tens of thousands of fans around the world also watching live online. The international judges eventually decided to present the title to Padraic.
The competition was judged by an international team of experts in science communication including Jim Al-Khalili, OBE is a British scientist, author and broadcaster; Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham and George Zarkadakis, Greek novelist, playwright and science journalist As every year, there was a prize for the audience voting which was won by France winner and FameLab International runner-up David Davila. In addition, the Alumni Prize was once again a feature of this year, with one vote from the alumni of each country. The Eurovision-style Alumni Prize was won jointly by the representatives of the UK and Poland.
Professor Alice Roberts said, “Padraic was successful because [he] offered incredibly elegant explanations of their science, we love the use of metaphor…we also thought that [he] described the impact that scientific research can have on our lives exceptionally well.”
This year’s International Final was bigger than ever and featured the national winners from Australia, Benelux, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA
Since its birth at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2005, FameLab has grown into the world’s leading science communication competition, running across five continents. The British Council who teamed up with Cheltenham Festivals in 2007 now runs the competition in over 25 countries. NASA runs the competition in the US.
Photo: Padriac Flood announced winner of FameLab International, 2014. Image credit: mcphersonstevens.com