19 scientists. 4 continents. One big question… Who will be crowned the FameLab International champion 2012?

19 scientists from across four continents will head to The Times Cheltenham Science Festival to compete in the International Finals of the world’s greatest science communication competition – FameLab.

Semi-Finals: Wednesday 13th June 6-7.30pm and 8.30-10pm/ The Experitent

Final: Friday 15th June 6-7.30pm/ Winton Crucible

2012 will see a record number of scientists from around the globe heading to The Times Cheltenham Science Festival for the International finals of FameLab, a brainchild of Cheltenham Festivals. FameLab aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective...in just three minutes.

Five years after it first left the UK, FameLab is again returning to Cheltenham with this time 19 national winners ready to battle it out. Scientists from across four continents will compete to see who is the most exciting, accessible and charismatic science communicator in the world, in a format run in partnership with the British Council, and, for the first time, with NASA.

Since its birth at Cheltenham Science Festival in 2005, FameLab has grown into arguably the world’s leading science communication competition. A partnership with the British Council since 2007 has seen the competition go global and this year’s International Final will feature the winners from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, UK and USA. Each contestant has already proved their scientific prowess and earned their crowns as national winners by being judged according to FameLab’s golden rule - the 3C’s: Content, Clarity and Charisma.

The finalists have chosen a mind-expanding of selection of topics to bring under the microscope. From the phenomenon of conception, through to the smell of hunger via an exploration of aliens – FameLab International promises an inspiring variety of all things scientific.

FameLab has become so popular around the world that the number of participating countries has grown rapidly. This means that this year there will be two semi-finals, both on 13 June a grand final on Friday 15 June, all hosted by Quentin Cooper.

The first semi-final we will see the winners from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland and the USA fight it out. Whilst the second semi-final will see Austria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Romania and the UK compete for one of ten places in the Final.

Professor Russell Foster, Chair of Cheltenham Science Festival and one of the judges added: “In my view it has never been more important to invest in science and – critically – communicate scientific progress to the broader non-scientific community. Competitions like FameLab introduce us to the next generation of scientists who are not only addressing great scientific challenges, but are able to communicate what they do.”

The International final will be able to be watched worldwide, as it is streamed live from the Festival from www.famelab.org and www.britishcouncil.org/new/science/famelab-2011/

The judging panel will award the first, second and third prize. The winner of the audience vote will also get a special prize. For the first time this year there will also be a very special award – panels from around the world will watch the final online and vote for the International Online award.

Find out about the finalists here