InScience Film Festival

Astronomer Athira Menon wins Dutch Famelab

Postdoc Athira Menon of the UvA Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy won the Dutch final of FameLab on 9 May. Menon received the first InScience Audience Award, handed out by festivaldirector Johan van de Woestijne. FameLab is a pitch competition for young researchers, in which they have only three minutes to explain their research to the general public.

What makes FameLab extra challenging is that the participants are not allowed to use slides. They must captivate the audience with their stage presentation, though they can use props. Menon impressed the audience and the jury with her pitch about gravitational waves and things that happen after a supernova. In other words, what remains after a star has exploded in such a huge way. She did this so well that she was voted the best candidate by both the jury and the public. Last March she was also one of the two winners of the local final of FameLab Amsterdam. The jury then praised her for her clear explanation of a very complex subject and the lively way in which she portrayed the galaxy with only her hands.

Photos: Joost Weddepohl

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