FameLab from our loungerooms

17 June 2020
This year participants competed from their loungerooms
Though FameLab looked a bit different this year, the competition was needed now more than ever as it provided an optimistic and hopeful look to the future with these young scientists at the helm.

FameLab is an annual global science communication competition where early-career researchers describe their research in only 3 minutes. A very different FameLab 2020 competition took place this year in Australia with participants competing from their loungerooms over Zoom rather than taking to the stage.

The Faculty of Science was proud to send two competitors to the national finals, NSW winner Dr Madeleine Ferrari from the School of Psychology and NSW Wild Card winner Nisha Duggan from the School of Chemistry. Both gave exceptional performances, with Madeleine taking the Runner Up position and Nisha taking home the online Public Vote.

Madelaine Ferrari

Clinical psychologist Dr Madeleine Ferrari is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology whose research is focused on using self-compassion as an intervention in adolescents to prevent mental health disorders. Her entry gave viewers a lesson on using this practice in their own lives; by treating ourselves with the same compassion we show our friends in times of distress.

Madeleine enjoyed participating in the FameLab competition “I found this to be a useful exercise in thinking about my research from a different perspective. This exercise made me take a step back and boil down my research to fundamentally what was most important.”

Nisha Duggan

Nisha Duggan is a PhD student in synthetic chemistry from the School of Chemistry who is working to develop novel treatments for stroke using an unlikely source: the funnel web spider.

“I approached my FameLab presentation by first asking myself what excited me most about my research and then thinking about how I could translate this into a story that a wider audience might also find exciting,” she said. This certainly shined through as she presented her work as both an exciting pathway to a novel therapeutic, and also reputation repair for the venomous spider.

Nisha is currently focusing on finishing up her PhD, but you can catch her at this year’s Soapbox Science event on August 15th, 2020, where she is sure to give another engaging talk about her research.

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