30 June 2022
FameLab is the longest-running science communication competition in the world with global alumni of over 10,000 science communicators. In 2015, FameLab Malaysia began as part of a collaboration between the British Council Malaysia and Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) funded by the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund programmes to recognise the importance for scientists and researchers in communicating their scientific knowledge, concepts and research to the general public.
2021 marks the seventh and final year of the FameLab Malaysia competition delivered by the British Council in partnership with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group For High Technology (MIGHT). The British Council recently celebrated the partnership and achievements in April and May 2022 to draw this successful partnership to a close, handing over FameLab Malaysia to MIGHT. MIGHT will continue to run FameLab Malaysia together with Cheltenham Festivals, the creator of FameLab in the UK.
“To me, Famelab is science and personality combined. Joining FameLab made me realise that your personality is also a tool that could potentially communicate science more effectively and inspire others too. Be part of this journey and you will never see science communication the same way again,” says Atteleth Don Peris, FameLab Malaysia Champion 2020.
The British Council is proud of the legacy and impact of FameLab Malaysia towards the Malaysian science and research community. Some key achievements of FameLab Malaysia include:
- Since its inception, FameLab Malaysia has attracted over 400 applicants and reached out to over 4,000 Malaysians over 7 years including the general public, university students, academics, scientists and researchers in the public and private sectors.
- A successful event every year, FameLab Malaysia receives sponsorship and in-kind contributions from more than 20 Malaysian organisations including government ministries, universities and industries.
- In its 8th year in partnership with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group For High Technology (MIGHT), FameLab Malaysia has many proud achievements and milestones to celebrate. The biggest achievement is that Malaysia is the only country that has twice won the “World’s Best Science Communicator” title in FameLab International.
- In 2016, FameLab Malaysia National Champion, Prof. Dr Abhi Veerakumarasivam became the FameLab International Champion defeating national winners from 27 different countries. He was the first FameLab International Champion for Malaysia and for the Asian region.
- In 2018, Dr. Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah, a Biological Science lecturer became the first female winner in Malaysia that was crowned the 2018 FameLab International Champion.
- Besides engaging with Malaysians through finals, heats and associated events like university outreach activities, training, workshops and online webinars, FameLab Malaysia also engages Malaysians through its social media channels, with the FameLab Malaysia portal reaching 20,000 hits in 2021.
- FameLab Malaysia has produced a total of 77 FameLab finalists who were trained by UK science journalists, Quentin Cooper and Dallas Campbell, broadcasters for science programs with BBC and National Geographic. The finalists were groomed to engage the public with their science stories through a series of competitions.
Yen Sim Kuek, Head, Newton Fund and Science from the British Council Malaysia said, “Besides equipping the FameLab finalists with science communication skills, the finalists were given international exposure and opportunities to build their national and international network for future research collaborations and exchange of knowledge and practices. The finalists were also encouraged to share their science communication journey with their peers by education and training including presenting and performing in other events and pitching their ideas to funders and businesses.”
While the British Council has ceased running FameLab, science communication will continue as part of the outreach and public engagement programme under the enabling research pillar of Going Global Partnerships.
For more information, visit:
FameLab Malaysia https://www.britishcouncil.my/british-council-celebrates-legacy-and-achievements-famelab-malaysia
FameLab 2022 https://www.might.org.my/
Going Global Partnerships https://www.britishcouncil.org/education/he-science/going-global-partnerships/about
Ms. Kuek Yen Sim, Head, Newton Fund and Sciences, British Council
Ms. Ani Suzila Anas, Corporate Communications and Relations, MIGHT
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