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programme_famelab_national_final_2015-web

FAMELAB

NATIONAL FINAL

Museum Boerhaave

21 April 2015

#FameLabNL


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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About FameLab

Speakers

Moderator

Jury Members

Programme

Biographies FameLab National Finalists

Contact

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ABOUT FAMELAB

FameLab aims to discover charismatic, up-and-coming scientists who inspire

people to see the world from a new perspective… in just three minutes! Since

its birth at the 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 with more than 5000 young scientists and engineers participating in

over 25 different countries.

Communicating science accessibly and attractively is an ever-growing priority

for researchers worldwide. FameLab helps young scientists acquire valuable

skills to communicate their work to non-scientific audiences. By doing so,

researchers not only challenge common stereotypes of scientists, but also

help to justify public funding for their research.

FameLab Netherlands 2015

The ten Finalists in FameLab Netherlands were selected at four heats

organised in partnership with University of Groningen / Science LinX, Leiden

University, Radboud University / Radboud UMC and Wageningen University

and Research Centre. All Finalists participated in a Masterclass in Media and

Science Communication hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts

and Sciences, the national FameLab partner. The Masterclass was given by

FameLab UK trainer Malcolm Love and NTR presenter Bart Meijer. The National

Final is organised in partnership with Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. The ten

Finalists will compete against one another at Museum Boerhaave to see who

will be crowned the winner of FameLab Netherlands 2015!

FameLab Netherlands Prize

The overall winner will travel to the UK in June to attend the Cheltenham

Science Festival and to take part in the FameLab International (semi) Final,

competing against 25 other national FameLab Finalists from around the world.

The FameLab International Final is co-produced by Cheltenham Festivals and

the British Council and held at the Cheltenham Science Festival each June.

NTR Audience Award

Dutch broadcaster NTR will present the NTR Audience Award to the FameLab

Finalist who receives the highest number of votes from the audience. The

audience has two opportunities to vote, there will be an online vote on the

NPO Wetenschap website in advance of the Final and a vote during the

National Final. The winner of the Audience Award will have the opportunity to

undertake a tailor-made media Internship at NTR.

FameLab on De Kennis van Nu

NTR will make a TV programme about FameLab which will be broadcasted on

Wednesday 22 April at 19.20 on NPO2.

‘South African-born British biologist and great communicator

Lewis Wolpert stated: “Science can be quite uncomfortable to

live with. It offers no hope for an afterlife, it tolerates no magic

and it doesn't tell us how to live."

Thus, one of the biggest challenges for science will always

be its acceptance by society at large. We will have to explain

over and over how science works and what it can – and cannot

– accomplish. The importance of helping young scientists to

learn how to communicate their research effectively can never

be overestimated.’

Professor Dr Hans Clevers

President

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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SPEAKERS

Sir Geoffrey Adams

Sir Geoffrey Adams is British Ambassador to the

Netherlands. He joined the FCO in 1979 and has previously

served in a range of Diplomatic Service appointments,

including as Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign

Secretary and as Ambassador to Iran. Before taking up his

post as Ambassador in The Hague, Sir Geoffrey was the UK

Political Director from 2009 until 2013.

Paul Römer

Since 2011, Paul Römer has been Managing Director of NTR,

the independent Dutch broadcasting service specialising

in information, education and culture. Prior to joining NTR,

Paul held various positions in the broadcasting organisation

TROS, following 15 years’ experience with Endemol, the

world’s largest television production company.

MODERATOR

Liesbeth Staats

Liesbeth Staats is one of the faces of the science TV

programme ‘De Kennis van Nu’ and the current affairs

programme Brandpunt. Prior to this she excelled in

the world of journalism as a reporter and presenter at

AVRO’s EenVandaag. For years she was the face of NOS’s

‘Jeugdjournaal’. Furthermore, she won the Cinekid Audience

Award in 2005 for her reporting on the Tsunami in Asia for

‘Jeugdjournaal’.

“As a journalist you have a Carte Blanche to ask all the

unanswered questions”. This is what has always fascinated

Liesbeth and drawn her to journalism.

Liesbeth studied Dutch Literature at the University of

Amsterdam and furthered her study in literature at the

University of Sorbonne in Paris. During this time she did

an internship at TV station AT5 in Amsterdam. In 2011 she

started her company, StaatsTV and she then collaborated

with The Media Sisters. These two creative organisations

came together to develop formats for TV and internet.

JURY MEMBERS

Sanne Deurloo

Sanne Deurloo is Editor-in-Chief of Kennislink.nl, the Dutch

popular science website powered by NEMO. She studied

chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, but is interested

in all kinds of science. She loves that she can ask almost

everything as a science journalist and in her experience

most scientists are very willing to talk about their work. She

is blessed with a big and wonderful group of editors who

are experienced in their science fields.

Before taking up her post at Kennislink, Sanne worked at

offline magazines and as Head of Programmes at Science

Centre NEMO. Now and then she gets the opportunity to

talk about science on the radio or television (e.g. De Kennis

van Nu and RTL Late night). She also thinks it is important

that scientists can talk about their research at a party in a

way that people like to listen to it.

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Professor Dr Vanessa Evers

Vanessa Evers is Full Professor of Human Media Interaction

at the University of Twente. Her research focuses on Human

Interaction with Autonomous Agents such as robots or

machine learning systems and cultural aspects of Human

Computer Interaction. She specifically likes to take theories

on human behaviour from social psychology and see if

similar processes occur when we interact with technology.

She is best known for her work on social robotics such

as the FROG robot (fun robotic outdoor guide), that can

interpret human behaviour automatically and respond to

people in a socially acceptable way.

She received a M.SC. in Information Systems from the

University of Amsterdam, and a Ph.D. from the Open

University, UK. During her Master studies she spent two

years at the Institute of Management Information Studies of

the University of New South Wales, Sydney. After her Ph.D.

she worked for the Boston Consulting Group, London and

later as Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam’s

Institute of Informatics. Vanessa was a visiting researcher at

Stanford University (2005-2007). She has published over 80

peer reviewed publications in human computer interaction

and human robot interaction. She serves on Programme

Committees of HRI, CHI, CSCW and ACM Multimedia.

Professor Dr Jeroen Geurts

TV interviews (including a weekly radio item on ‘Radio

Eénvandaag’). He has also written several opinion articles,

articles for newspapers and columns for popularised

scientific magazines (www.jeroengeurts.nl).

Jeroen is an advocate of public education and co-founded

(and now directs) Stichting Brein in Beeld, a foundation

that strives to translate scientific knowledge to the general

population and facilitates interdisciplinary research between

(neuro)scientists. As Chairman of ‘De Jonge Akademie’ from

2013 until 2015, he participated actively in the debate on

Dutch science policy and hosts several events for the public

to stress the place of science in society.

Pádraic Flood

Pádraic is a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck

Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany,

where he is researching various aspects of population

genetics in plants as well as continuing with his interest

in photosynthesis (where light becomes life). Apart from

his research into genetics and photosynthesis he is also

passionate about communicating science to the public, this

passion led him to win last year’s international FameLab

competition. He believes that; “Science is our way of

exploring the universe and scientists are the explorers,

science communication is about sharing the stories and

insights from our adventures with the rest of humanity”.

Jeroen Geurts is Professor in Translational Neurosciences

and Head of the Department of Anatomy and

Neurosciences at VUMC. Since the publication of two

books for the general audience in 2007 (‘Over de kop’) and

2009 (‘Kopstukken’), he has given more than 100 public

lectures (including Universiteit van Nederland) and radio/

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PROGRAMME - FAMELAB NATIONAL FINAL

18:00

18:30

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Arrival, tea/coffee at Museum Boerhaave Leiden

Opening and welcome by Professor Dr Dirk van Delft, Director

Museum Boerhaave Leiden

Introduction finalists by Liesbeth Staats, NTR Presenter

and 3-minute presentations by FameLab Finalists

Matea Vlatković

Title: Molecular motors in action: obtaining left and right handed

molecules on demand

Michelle Spierings

Title: Making economy and ecology meet under water

Joao Gouveia

Title: Green up your Life with microalgae

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20:00

Encarna Micó Amigo

Title: Give me an accelerometer, and I will tell you how

dangerous your huntington proteins are

Jeroen van Baar

Title: Rethinking human nature

Jessie Eerens

Title: Proteins, the building blocks of life

Johan Mentink

Title: The magic of magnetism

Marcia Brandenburg-Goddard

Title: Navigating the neural highway

Jury deliberations, NTR audience vote and science quiz

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Mirte Boss

Title: It’s all in the mix: hybrids in nature

20:20

Prize giving by Paul Römer, Managing Director NTR and

Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to the Netherlands

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Ryan Bogaars

Title: From Solvent to Solution

20:30

21:00

Drinks reception

End

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FAMELAB FINALISTS

Jeroen van Baar

After graduating from University College Utrecht in 2011,

Jeroen van Baar (1990) studied cognitive neuroscience

in Utrecht and Paris. He is currently a PhD student in

decision neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain,

Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen.

In 2014 Jeroen published the book ‘De

prestatiegeneratie: een pleidooi voor middelmatigheid’

(The achievement generation: on the merits of

mediocrity; AtlasContact). He lives in Amsterdam and

enjoys playing music, writing, reading and spending time

with friends.

Ryan Bogaars

Ryan Bogaars is currently finishing his Master in

Sustainable Process and Energy Technologies and

working as a lecturer at the Rotterdam University of

Applies Sciences. With a bit of luck he will start a PhD

on the subject of new solvents based on liquids found

in nature, a joined programme of the universities of

Leiden and Delft, in a few months. He enjoys working in

an interdisciplinary field. Ryan believes that talking to

different researchers and finding different views on a

subject can lead to interesting finds.

In his spare time Ryan likes to read classic novels. Homer,

Dante and James Joyce are sources of inspiration for

Ryan to make his work not only scientifically significant

but also understandable and enjoyable to read.

Mirte Bosse

Mirte completed her Bachelor’s in Biology at the VU

University in Amsterdam, and during her Masters in

ecology at the VU she became interested in conservation

genomics.

The main goal of her current research at the Wageningen

University is to investigate genomic variation within

and between different populations of wild boars,

domesticated pigs and closely related species.

She is convinced that genomic tools will become of

high importance for conservation efforts in the (near)

future. Societal relevance has always been an important

motivation for Mirte’s research. An interdisciplinary

environment stimulates the implementation of scientific

research in society, and therefore clear communication is

crucial.

Marcia Brandenburg-Goddard

Marcia obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical

Neuropsychology cum laude at Leiden University in

2012. During her master’s programme she started her

doctoral research at the Department of Clinical Child and

Adolescent Studies. Marcia’s current research is focused

on brain mechanisms underlying social dysfunction in

autism. Additionally, she is involved in thesis supervision

and teaching both bachelor’s and master’s degree-level

courses. She also counsels children with developmental

disorders.

Marcia spends her spare time riding quarter horses

(western style, she fancies herself quite the cowgirl), salsa

dancing, and singing (quite often off-key).

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Jessie Eerens

As a little girl, Jessie loved everything to do with food.

She would stand in her mother’s kitchen and drive her

crazy with questions about what was healthy and what

not. Not much has changed since then, except that now

Jessie is studying Nutrition and Health and driving not

her mother but the Professors crazy with questions.

Jessie’s major is Epidemiology and Public Health. By

appealing to large groups of people, she hopes to help

them improve their quality of life. As part of her MSc

research, she has been involved in developing proteinfortified

meals for elderly people. This will also be the

focus of her talk at the National Final. Jessie is currently

doing research at Imperial College in London. She very

much enjoys living in London and plans to stay in the UK

after graduating in August.

Joao Gouveia

Originally from Portugal from a seaside town near Lisbon.

At the age of 17 Joao left to study abroad in USA, Wales

and England where he studied Marine Biology and

Biotechnology. Somehow along the way the interest

in smaller and smaller creatures became bigger and

bigger taking him from monitoring phytoplankton in the

South West of Ireland to doing his PhD in Wageningen

UR. At AlgaePARC facilities he looks to understand

the bioprocess for the cultivating microalgae that can

produce interesting molecules.

He also takes dance classes in instant composition and

enrols in extreme endurance sports like ultra-running.

Johan Mentink

Johan Mentink is a passionate physicist at Radboud

University Nijmegen fascinated by magnetism. His

research focuses on the theory of ultrafast magnetism.

In particular, he aims to understand how fast and how

effective magnetism can be manipulated by using the

electronic origin of magnetism itself, and how this can

be used to meet the societal and economic demands

for smaller, faster and more energy-efficient magnetic

storage. He also loves listening to music, playing

percussion and is a proud father of wonderful daughters.

Encarna Micó Amigo

Encarna is a Spanish biomedical engineer from Valencia.

Her enthusiasm for discovering new cultures drove

her to study all around the world: Valencia (UPV),

Barcelona (UB), Japan (Kagoshima University) and in

Italy (Politecnico di Torino). After her studies, she worked

in the Biomedical Engineering Faculty of Kathmandu

(Nepal), where she taught “Biomechanics” and learned to

communicate in Nepalese.

Encarna’s passion for science was the main motivation

to land in the Netherlands, where she is currently doing

a PhD at the VU University in Amsterdam and at the

company “McRoberts” under the programme Moving

Beyond, funded by the Marie Curie FP7 scholarship.

Her project is based on the study of progression and

preclinical parameters of neurodegenerative diseases

with the use of low-cost, light and small sensors

(accelerometers and gyroscopes). It contributes to

clinical practice while creating substantial value for

public health. Thus, the objectives of Encarna’s research

perfectly match with her ethical principles.

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Michelle Spierings

From all the animals, are humans really unique? This

question has captivated Michelle’s interest for many

years. She started studying biology with the ambition to

find some answers. Currently, Michelle is working as a

PhD student at Behavioural Biology at Leiden University.

Here she is trying to unravel the evolution of language.

Language might be one of the most unique aspects of

humans, but by studying songbirds, Michelle sheds some

light on this –maybe overstated– claim.

Besides working with birds, she likes to spend her free

time trekking through nature to see them in the wild.

Matea Vlatković

Matea was born in Croatia, where she completed her

Bachelor and Master studies in Chemistry. After this, she

joined the Feringa lab in Groningen where she currently

pursues her PhD in the study of molecular motors.

In her free time, Matea enjoys dancing, travelling around

the world and spreading the positive spirit of science.

Her future dream job would be doing research projects

related to everyday life with children and everyone who

feels like a child at heart.

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CONTACT US

British Council Netherlands

Weteringschans 85a

1017 RZ Amsterdam

The Netherlands

www.britishcouncil.nl

Manon de Ruijter

Head Programmes & Partnerships Benelux

manon.deruijter@britishcouncil.nl

+31 (0)20 524 76 70

Anna Devi Markus

Project Manager

annadevi.markus@britishcouncil.nl

+31 (0)20 524 76 71

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