The Life of Psi

Philosophical Musings on the Foundations of Physics and Chemistry

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FameLab: Communicating Science in 3 Minutes

I have been shortlisted to take part in FameLab Benelux !!

The aim is very simple: to explain a concept in science, technology or mathematics in only three (!) minutes, armed with only your wits and a few props. Each presentation will be judged according to the golden rule of the 3Cs: Content, Clarity and Charisma. Well that's a Challenge 😉




FameLab was first held in the UK at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 2005. Anno 2014, the competition has gone global with more than 5000 young scientists and engineers participating in over 25 different countries — making FameLab arguably the world’s leading science communication competition. In the USA, FameLab is organized by none less than NASA and National Geographic!

This is the first year that FameLab will be organized in the Benelux region. Three regional heats will be organized in Wageningen, Brussels and Groningen (see Events). The first one will be held this Thursday March 27 at Wageningen Campus, from 13:00 to 16:30, with my presentation being scheduled at 15:20 :-)

The heats are live public events at which a specialist jury will select the 10 FameLab Benelux 2014 finalists. So don't hesitate to come and watch and cheer !!

My presentation will be about Quantum Immortality. As I hope to explain this Thursday, there is this really cool interpretation of quantum mechanics, called the Many Worlds interpretation, which seems to offer us a way to be immortal. And there's even a way to prove it ...

Once all 10 finalists are known, they will take part in a two-day master class in science communication, to polish up their oral expression and enhance their communication skills. And on Thursday May 22, the finalists will compete against one another in the Benelux Final at Science Centre NEMO, in Amsterdam.

The overall winner of FameLab Benelux will then travel to the UK in June to attend the Cheltenham Science Festival and to take part in the FameLab International Final, competing against other national FameLab finalists from across the world.

Here is Fergus McAuliffe, one of the finalists of last year's FameLab competition, with a brilliant presentation on the Canadian wood frog.

Not only does it have Content, Clarity and Charisma, it's also Creative, Comic and Captivating, while being presented in a Calm, Convincing and Charming manner.

It's going to be really tough to reach McAuliffe's level. But I'm really looking forward to it, and I would like to wish the other 26 contestants the best of luck !!

The nice thing is that we are all going to win according to the Many Worlds interpretation, but each in a different parallel universe 😉

Hope to see you all this Thursday !

Pieter Thyssen

Whereas his left brain was trained as a theoretical scientist, his right brain prefers the piano. At work, Pieter builds time machines (on paper) and loves to dabble in the history and philosophy of science. He often gets stuck in another dimension, contemplating time travel and parallel universes, or thinking about ways to save Schrödinger's cat (maybe). He explores the world on foot, and takes life one cup of (Arabica) coffee at a time. Follow him on Twitter @PieterThyssen or at You can reach Pieter via email at

  2 comments for “FameLab: Communicating Science in 3 Minutes

  1. Olimpia
    March 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Good luck, Pieter!!

    I cannot be there on Thursday, but I want to know immediately the news...

    • March 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Thank you Olimpia!

      I'll make sure to post the results on The Life of Psi as soon as they have been announced. So stay tuned! :-)

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