A biological sciences lecturer Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah has made Malaysia proud after she was named the World’s Best Communicator at the 2018 FameLab International competition held at Cheltenham, United Kingdom recently.
Fondly known as ‘Kye’, the 33-year-old lecturer from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) defeated 11 other finalists from various countries through her research on the use of antibodies-antigens to diagnose tuberculosis (TB) titled, ‘To Find a Hidden Killer.’
And just like others, Dr Siti Khayriyyah was too, used to stage fright but she managed to get rid of the feelings.
“When I get on the stage and I am about to speak and have dropped all of that anxiety and nerves and just commit to that moment, it is really quite magical.
“Being able to have that connection with the audience is great. I had the opportunity thanks to Famelab,” she told British Council in an interview.
International final judge Vivienne Parry said Dr Siti Khayriyyah has shown the world that being a good science communicator did not mean one has to be an extrovert.
“But actually what Kye showed us was that quiet authority and stunning clarity of content is the thing that really communicates best to a very wide audience,” she said.
Not only that, Dr Siti Khayriyyah has embodied the ‘3 C’s – content, clarity and charisma’, said Ali Mawie, the Director of Education for Cheltenham Festival.
“She and the other finalists demonstrated how much FameLab has raised the bar for science communication since it began in 2015,” he said.
FameLab is a global science communication competition to test oral proficiency of young scientists in conveying science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) theories and concepts in easy-to-understand and creative style within three minutes. Presentations are judged according to their content, clarity and charisma.
The competition was introduced in Malaysia in 2015 by the British Council in collaboration with Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT).