By Khairul Anuar Muhamad Noh
SERDANG - Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) lecturer Dr. Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam has beaten contestants from over 25 countries to win the prestigious FameLab science communication competition in Cheltenham, United Kingdom on Thursday.
His talk on how genetics change the way cancer is diagnosed and treated in the age of precision medicine won the 'Best Science Communicator award at Famelab International 2016.
Dr. Abhimanyu from Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences said he was "pretty excited" about the victory, having prepared for it since winning the national competition in April.
"I just hope that it will spur more scientist and scientist enthusiast to communicate science effectively to the public.
"This will help improve stem engagement as well as create public awareness that can impact public policy too," he said.
Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) in a statement said the scientist from UPM sailed past over 2,000 scientists from 27 countries in the world's biggest science communication competitions organised by The Times Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom on June 9.
Sharing his success, Dr Abhimanyu said there was a need to communicate effectively, especially to the non-scientific audience, on the matter.
“Science communication is essential to ensure that the advancements in science translate into actual improvement of lives,” he said.
This year marked the second time Malaysia participated in the competition that is designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science technology and engineering concepts within three minutes of presentation.
Famelab Malaysia was jointly organised by MIGHT and British Council Malaysia. MIGHT president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman said Dr Abhimanyu’s win was a huge achievement for the country.
“Dr Abhi’s victory is indeed special and timely as the nation urgently needs to rally everyone to embrace and leverage on science and societal wellbeing through simple, fun yet effective communication,” he said.
British Council Malaysia director, Sarah Deverall said making science accessible and attractive to a non-scientific audience through good communication was an ever-growing priority for researchers worldwide.
“While the result is truly rewarding for him (Dr Abhimanyu) personally, it is also an excellent achievement for Malaysia,” she said.
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan