My Thesis in 180 seconds: the progress was the victory

It was three days of intense competition for the 12 Brazilian and 11 Swiss students who took part in the first edition of the science communication competition My Thesis in 180 seconds. The preparation time was short and the challenge, big: to present their PhD projects to a non-expert audience and jury, making their research understandable, pointing out the importance of their work and, at the same time, captivating the audience.

The group came together at the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), where they enjoyed the great view over the Guanabara Bay as an inspiration. In Switzerland, the participants met in Champéry, in the middle of the mountains. The presentations were transmitted by video conference so the students and the jury could follow the progress on the other side.

The event turn out to be much more than a competition, giving  the students an opportunity to practice their abilities in communication and interact with other areas of knowledge. Every participant evolved excellently in their presentation skills and the progress they made was – there is no doubt – the big prize of this initiative.

But still, we had our winners. Luciane Santos (PUC-PR) won first place with an spotless presentation about her work of fighting against infections from bacteria in implants. Marcella Souza (UFRJ) climbed the podium at the second place – and she also won a trip to Switzerland – with her research about micro-algae as a substitute for petroleum. Felipe Teixeira won the third place and touched the audience with his research to develop the fight against cancer.

On the Swiss side, researches in health area were also the champions. Fabian Braun (EPFL) won the second place, while Christian Vogt (ETHZ) and Huaiqi Huang (EPFL) shared the first place

Luiz Alberto Oliveira, curator of the Museum of Tomorrow and member of the jury, pointed out the value of this kind of initiative for the development of Brazil’s science: “It gets more and more important for researchers to dominate communications skills and be able to dialogue with the audience, especially in times when science isn’t as valued in the world”.

Congratulations to the winners of My Thesis in 180 seconds!

Check out the full pictures album at our Flickr page.

Curious to learn a bit more about scientific communication ? One of our jury members, Professor Mauro Rebelo, from BioBureau, talks about efficient and creative writing for scientist on Youtube.