Games of Science - a new programme inspiring researchers to bring science closer to the public
The British Council Romania and the BioMentorHub Association have launched Games of Science, a project promoting science communication that builds on the FameLab Romania legacy.
From March to May 2022, more than 150 students and young researchers from Romania benefited from free training sessions, at the end of which they competed in a one-of-a-kind science presentation competition designed to hone their skills.
The Games of Science format
During the training, participants learned how to speak in public, how to use their emotions to be more convincing and practised presenting complex topics in plain language. The "Games of Science" tournament, organised online at the end of the training, was an original competition format developed by science communication specialist Ada Roseti, in which young researchers took part in elimination rounds of science presentations, ranging from just 15 seconds to 3 minutes.
The aim of the trainings and the competition was to encourage young people who have or want a career in research to explain complex ideas and processes in a way that is understandable to the public in the shortest possible time.
The 2022 edition of Games of Science was run by the British Council Romania in collaboration with the BioMentorHub Association under the "Science for All" project, funded by CIVIS OPEN LAB-UB / University of Bucharest.
The national final of the competition - the Games of Science Champions' Tournament - brought together 10 young researchers, finalists of the project sessions, who accepted the challenge to talk about complex scientific research in a simple and engaging way, for as short as 15 seconds and up to 3 minutes.
The event took place on Saturday 18 June 2022 at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. Before the competition, on 17 June, the young researchers also attended a one-day masterclass on science communication, led by communication specialist Ada Roseti.
During the finals, the competitors were evaluated for the attractiveness, clarity and impact of their presentations by a jury composed of Dr Sorin Cebotari, Mădălina Cocea, Vasile Decu, Andrada Fiscutean, Dani Petrache (Danivers), Oana Racheleanu and Anda Vișan.
Winners and finalists of the 2022 Champions' Tournament
1st place - Andrada Balmez
Theme: How can we make sure personalised medicine is the right answer?
Andrada is a biology graduate from Imperial College London and a master's student in biology at the University of Cologne, while also studying literature, languages and education at Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Her presentation on personalised medicine earned her first place in the competition, along with a prize of 400 euros from the Hermann Oberth Association for Education and Science.
2nd place - Isabela Dragomir
Theme: Antibiotics of the future based on antimicrobial peptide molecules, nature's effective solution to combat bacterial resistance
Isabela is a PhD student in molecular biophysics and research scientist at the ICI Interdisciplinary Research Institute of Al. I. Cuza in Iasi. Her presentation on nature's solutions against anitbiotic resistance earned her second place in the competition, along with a 300 euro prize offered by the Ad Astra Association.
Andrei-Robert Alexandrescu - Detection of train switches using artificial intelligence and image processing methods (Special Award of the Politehnica University of Bucharest)
Victor Baerle - Single-celled algae: a nutritious and cheap food
Mihaela Borota - Mathematical modelling and river pollution
Corina-Ioana Cobzac - Nature and Mechatronics (Special Award of the Romanian National Commission for UNESCO)
Claudiu Roman - Atmospheric chemistry and technologies for the destruction of gaseous pollutants (Audience Award)
Ionela-Cristina Petcu - Optimization of the magnetic actuator of a bacterial detection system
Gabriela Prundaru - Human behaviour from the perspective of neural plasticity (Special Jury Award - Vasile Decu)
Lavinia-Ioana Verdeș - Barriers in student learning and how teachers can help students overcome them
The first and second place contestants in the competition, as well as the winner of the Audience Award, also received Cambridge English Assessment or Aptis English language exams from the British Council Romania, as well as book bundles from the science and fiction collections of Humanitas Publishing House.
The first edition of the Games of Science Champions Tournament was organised by the British Council Romania, the Biomentorhub Association and the Politehnica University of Bucharest, under the coordination of science communication specialist Ada Roseti, and with the support of partners Hermann Oberth Association for Education and Science, Ad Astra Association, Humanitas Publishing House, Romanian National Commission for UNESCO, Lexonn.