The winners of this year’s FameLab popularization competition for scientists, of which the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) is a partner, have been announced. Among them is Paweł Jarosław Mazurkiewicz (a winner of the FNP’s eNgage competition), whose fascinating story about ants won him the second prize.
Paweł Jarosław Mazurkiewicz (College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Warsaw; Laboratory of Ethology at the Department of Neurophysiology, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences; Department of Animal Physiology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw) studies factors that influence the development of aggressive behaviours in ants. He has published a popular science book/calendar called Mrówka na każdy dzień [An Ant for Every Day] and is the author of the tourist photograph album Drewniane Mazowsze [Wooden Mazovia].
First place in the FameLab 2016 competition and the PWN Special Prize (the winner’s choice of any academic training course organized by the PWN publishing house) went to physician Karolina Nowak (Bielany Hospital in Warsaw) for her presentation “Słuchaj uchem, a nie brzuchem” [Listening Is for Ears, Not Bellies] about whether a child in the womb can hear music or its mother’s voice. Third place went to Jakub Lewicki (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm), who talked about stem cells.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education Special Prize (participation in any European conference of the winner’s choice) went to Krzysztof Zawierucha (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań), who described how bacteria and parasites manipulate people.
The Audience Award, funded by the British Council, went to Anna Kotlińska (Jagiellonian University), who studies the composition of breast milk, especially the bacterial flora and factors affecting its changes.
The finalists’ presentations were evaluated by a panel of judges comprising Prof. Ewa Bartnik (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, and the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences), Irena Cieślińska (Programme Director of the Copernicus Science Centre), Prof. Arkadiusz Orłowski (dean of the Faculty of Applied Informatics and Mathematics and director of the Multimedia Education Centre, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW), and Jacek Wasilewski, PhD habil. (media scholar and rhetoric specialist affiliated with the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Journalism).
FameLab is an international competition encouraging scientists to speak out in public. Entrants have three minutes to present the results of their research to the judges and audience. The final of the Polish competition took place on 16 April at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw.
The organizers of FameLab in Poland are the Copernicus Science Centre and the British Council.
For more information on the finalists and the competition, see the FameLab Poland website.