WUSTL to host National Geographic’s FameLab​​​

Science communication competition is "American Idol" meets TED Talks

National Geographic and NASA have chosen Washington University in St. Louis to host the next FameLab, the science communication competition where scientists and educators transform data and research into entertaining and enlightening presentations. Think “American Idol” meets TED Talks.

Young scientists from WUSTL and across the region are invited to try out for FameLab at a morning competition round at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21. FameLab is open to graduate students (MS, PhD and MD), postdoctoral fellows and early-career researchers. Topics can range from astronomy to oceanography, paleontology to planetary science, as well as biology and medical sciences, and they must be presented in three minutes or less.

Props are allowed — but Powerpoint is not. The winners will go on to compete before a panel of judges and a live audience at the FameLab Finals Feb. 22 at the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave. in the Delmar Loop. Kenny Broad, National Geographic’s 2011 Explorer of the Year and a renowned anthropologist, will host the free event. The winner will advance to the FameLab National Final in Washington, D.C.

National Geographic also is hosting a Young Explorers Grant Workshop Feb. 22 for would-be applicants ages 18-25. An expert panel of National Geographic grantees and staff members will discuss potential field projects and teach participants how to craft a successful application. Every year, National Geographic distributes thousands of dollars in grants to young scientists, filmmakers and photographers.

FameLab Morning Competition Round
When: 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 21
Where: Mallinckrodt Center, Multipurpose Room (Lower Level), on the Danforth Campus

FameLab Communication Workshop
When: 1-3 p.m. Feb. 21
Where: Mallinckrodt Center, Multipurpose Room (Lower Level)

Young Explorers Grant Workshop
When: 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 22
Where: Laboratory Sciences Building, Room 300

FameLab Finals
When: 7-9 p.m. Feb. 22
Where: 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave.