Friday 14 June 2013


Dr. Christopher See, PhD student at the University of Hong Kong, is named “Online Alumni Vote Winner ” at the sixth FameLab International Finals held at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Friday 7 June at 6.30pm (UK time).

The competition – organised by the British Council and Cheltenham Festivals - aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire people to see the world from a new perspective.  Each contestant delivered a three-minute presentation on their chosen topic - from the science inside our brains, to the exploration of the stars.  Every presentation was judged according to the golden rule of the 3 Cs: content, clarity and charisma. 

Last week, 21 young scientists from across Europe, Asia and Africa who won the FameLab contest in their own country headed to the Times Cheltenham Science Festival for the international competition and only ten made it to the finals.

Competing at the finals, Dr. Christopher See, a medical doctor now doing a PhD at the University of Hong Kong, wowed both the judges and audience alike with his presentation on “Probabilities and Kissing”.  He impressed the audience by explaining how a virus spread through saliva can cause a type of cancer known as nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which is particularly problematic in the South Chinese population.  Dr. See was selected as audience favourite by those watching the competition live.

On winning the award, Dr. See said, “FameLab has taught me the importance of communicating science.  It’s the information age, and getting people to understand diseases and their causes is the best and most important way to reduce the global disease burden.  Helping people to remember lots of stuff very fast is also important in training our doctors of the future, and incidentally a hot topic with students because that’s what they do all day. Engaging either students or patients with scientific concepts can be quite different, and I hope I will improve my science communication through FameLab.”

The grand prize was taken by Fergus McAuliffe, an environmental sciences researcher from Ireland, who told a fantastic tale of Canadian Wood Frogs and how they have adapted to freeze their bodies and stop their hearts for winter.

FameLab Hong Kong is part of British Council's annual Science Alive programme in Hong Kong. Science Alive is jointly organised by the British Council, the Education Bureau, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Hong Kong Science Museum and HK Education City, and sponsored by the Croucher Foundation. 

Notes to Editor

About FameLab

FameLab is a competition originally created in 2005 by Cheltenham Festivals in the UK. It became international in 2007 through a collaboration with British Council. It is now run in 23 countries worldwide and ends with an international final at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

In Hong Kong  FameLab is part of Science Alive. The aim of FameLab is to encourage young people (aged 19 to 35 years old) studying or working in science-related fields  to inspire and excite public imagination with a vision of science in the 21st century.  Contestants have 3 minutes to present a scientific topic to an audience and a panel of expert judges. The talk should be entertaining, original, and scientifically accurate but also engaging to a non-scientific audience. The Grand Prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the UK in June 2013 to represent Hong Kong in the FameLab international finals during the Cheltenham Science Festival.   

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide. Established in Hong Kong in 1948, the British Council strives to connect the UK with the rest of the world through partnerships in areas such as education, the arts, and science.  In 2011-12, we delivered 227 Arts, Education and Science events and provided extensive English language support with online learning, excellent English teaching and examination services; 46,653 students took exams with us; and 22,309 learners were engaged in English learning services.