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Astronomer Athira Menon is one of the two winners of the local final of FameLab, held on 13 March. She will represent our university at the national FameLab final in Utrecht on 9 May. The second winner is Paris Asif from the Amsterdam UMC.

FameLab is an international competition in which young scientist try to explain their research topic to the general public in a three minute pitch, without any slides. Participants are trained in science communication and presentation skills before entering the local finals. Two winners of each local finale get to compete in the national finale, and maybe eventually in the international final in the UK.  

Special supernova

Menon is a postdoctoral researcher at the UvA’s Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy. She impressed the jury and the public in Spui25 with her talk about a very special supernova, which turned out to probably originate from the merger of two stars. The jury praised her for her clear explanation of a very complex topic and her vivid way of explaining the star system using only her hands.

The prize

Together with the second winner of the Amsterdam final, Paris Asif from the Amsterdam UMC, Menon has not only won a spot in the national final but also a special two-day training in communication & presentation at the  Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).