Andrew Steele Wins Famelab SE Final

Andrew Steele, from Oxford, has beaten off ten competitors to win the Famelab South East Regional Final at Science Oxford Live. Andrew won the competition in just three minutes by wowing the judges about how human activity makes clouds whiter and whiter clouds are cooling our planet.

The four judges were Andrew Pontzen (former Famelab national finalist), Chris Lintott (co-presenter of 'The Sky at Night'), Georgina Ferry (science writer) and Timandra Harkness (Comedian and Writer).

Timandra Harkness, judging the event commented on the standard of entries, “The standard of entries was impressively high. It was a tough job choosing between contestants with very different styles. Andrew impressed us by combining content, clarity and charisma. He made us want to keep watching and listening.”

Timandra is attending all of the regional finals across the country and will be revealing two wild cards who will also make it to the Famelab UK Grand Final. The two wild cards will be revealed once all of the regional finals have taken place across the country.

Ceri Brenner from Oxford and Niraj Lal from Cambridge were both shortlisted as potential wild cards who may also find themselves in the UK Grand Final.

Dominic McDonald, Head of Public Engagement at Science Oxford, said “I was pleased with the standard of entries in this first heat and I thought four excellent candidates have made it through to the final. I am looking forward to the next heat.”

The UK Grand Final will be held at the Royal Institution on 21st March 2012. The winner will receive £1,000 for themselves and up to £750 to spend on a science communication activity, whether it’s attending a conference, further training or developing a public event or activity.

Past winners of FameLab have gone on to travel the globe, perform in festivals and feature on national TV and radio, and many combine public-facing activity with ongoing research. All finalists become part of a global network of science communicators.