From Bangladesh to the UK: A FameLabber's journey
Abu Saleh Muhammed Afrin Bin Nur (Adib) :
For someone who loves both science and public speaking, when I first came to know about FameLab, I knew I had to go for it. FameLab facilitates science communication and this is a very important aspect for any scientist. Your research or work can be ground breaking, with the potential to save millions of lives, but unless you find a way to reach the right audience, it might and will get buried under the overload of work published on a daily basis. Science communication helps scientists reach out to the mass people. Therefore, the practice of science communication is necessary for any scientist.
The FameLab competition started its journey 12 years ago, but it was only the second the Bangladesh would be participating in it. This year national champions from 25 different countries participated in FameLab International and only 11 countries made it to the finals. Bangladesh was one of the 11 international finalists, which ensured our participation in the final round back to back.
FameLab 2019 journey has been an overwhelming experience for me. I learned the art of great science communication. I got the knowledge on how to communicate with an audience full of experts like Malcolm Love, who was the master trainer for both the national and international masterclasses. I met a lot of talented young people both from across the globe. I was blown away by the raw talent that thrives in our country.
My experience in the UK was also amazing. It was a great honour for me to get the opportunity to represent Bangladesh in an international stage. Having the opportunity to be amidst so many great people, passionate young scientists who are working tirelessly in their field and communicating their work brilliantly was a great learning experience for me. It changed my perspective as a scientist, as a young professional and as someone who is about to start his career. The connections that I built and the lessons that I learned is something that I believe will stick with me for the rest of my life.
During my journey in FameLab, I met a number of international mentors who fly to different countries, teach young scientists about science communication. Sadly, whenever I asked them from which part of the world, they find the most talented people, the general answers tended to be Malaysia, Australia or Egypt. I felt since, this was only the second year we participated in FameLab, most of them are still unaware of the talent in our country. I strongly believe, if this initiative continues, Bangladesh will soon be in the favourite list of countries with the most talented young science communicators.
Having participated in FameLab this year and getting the opportunity to represent my country at the Cheltenham UK was a matter of great pride. Of course, I would have loved to get into the top three but making it to the top 11 made me confident enough to look forward. Famelab was a journey of personal growth for me. For anyone who is looking to develop themselves as a scientist, a professional or a communicator, I think Famelab is one of the best stages available for them at this point in their life.