3 Minute Wonder: Bigger, better … and now with its own #hashtag!

21 January 2016

The Institute of Physics’ national 3 Minute Wonder (3MW, #3minutewonder) science communication competition returned in 2015 with the regional heat hosted by the London and South East branch (@IOPLSE) being held on 9 December 2015 at Portland Place, London.


3 Minute Wonder challenges researchers in physics, or a physics-related field, to explain their work in just three minutes; each participant pitching their research to a panel of established science communicators and, this year, an interested but non-specialist, mulled-wine infused, audience! More details about the competition can be found here: www.iop.org/activity/3-minute-wonder/page_60438.html

The judging panel, whose insight and feedback about the art of science communication proved invaluable, consisted of Lindsay Keith (CEO, Refinery Productions Ltd), Kelly Vaughan (Senior Scientist at NNS and former 3MW Finalist), Sophie Scott (UCL professor, TED speaker) and Johanna Kieniewicz (Head of IOP Outreach)

This year’s highly entertaining presentations focused on research topics as diverse as the hunt for an invisibility cloak, ion transport across cell membranes and the challenges faced when stretching rubber! The competition was hotly contested with the winner (Joe Spencer, Uni of Southampton) and runner-up (Sebastian Wood, National Physical Laboratory) being decided by the audience after the judges scores resulted in a tie. While Joe discussed the physics of materials at the nano-scale, Joe showed just how infuriating large scale solar panel printing  can be! Joe and Spencer will be invited to compete again in 2016 in the grand final against the winners from all the other IOP 3MW regional competitions.

Congratulations to both and thank you all.