A science career can sometimes bear more than a passing resemblance to leading a life on the stage. Never has there been greater demand for the kind of investigator willing to exude a bit of razzle-dazzle in order to communicate with the wider public. Now, the organizers of one British science festival have taken the science-showbiz connection to new heights. Tearing a page directly out of the Pop Idol and American Idol handbooks, they've held a nationwide talent contest to find the "new face of science."

In the Cheltenham Science Festival's FameLab, budding science stars had three minutes to impress a panel of judges with their combination of charisma and top-notch science. Heats were held across the country in March and April, attracting more than 300 participants.

Twelve finalists were then chosen to receive a two-day training course in science communication. The lucky dozen includes a wide range of scientists,...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?