Giovanni Rivieccio, student of the University of Sassari, is the 2020 FameLab Sardinia winner; his performance, focused on the diffusion of alien species threatening the biodiversity in local ecosystems, earned him the victory of the regional final of the international contest dedicated to the popularisation of science. Rivieccio outperformed the competition of other 19 students and researchers in scientific disciplines from all over Sardinia. The participants passed the pre-selections in Sassari and Cagliari; the regional final, originally scheduled for March 12th in Nuoro, was held electronically.
As runner-up we find Alice Mulliri, a member of Cagliari’s University and National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn), who spoke of the researches conducted by Marie Curie, that ultimately led to her sacrifice. Alessandro Loni, a member of Cagliari’s alma mater and Astronomical Observatory (Inaf-Oac), already winner of the Cagliarian pre-selection, was ranked third; his performance was a talk about hydrogen in the galaxies and on the possibilities of observing it. The participants had 3 minutes, without the use of slides or videos, but were allowed to use objects and musical instruments. The technical jury for the pre-selections was supported by one formed by high-school students; in the final, the researchers have been evaluated by journalist Mauro Scanu, astrophysicist Gian Nicola Cabizza and biologist Alessia Zurru, experts in education and popularisation of science. The top two finishers gain access to a Masterclass in popularisation and to the national final, which will be held in Trieste, after the end of the COVID-19 crisis.
FameLab Sardinia has been organised by Cagliari’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics, University of Sassari, University of Cagliari’s Physics Department and Scientific Degrees Project (pls), the Municipality of Nuoro and University consortium of Nuoro in partnership with University of Sassari’s Scientific Degrees Project (pls), Sardegna Teatro, CRS4, IDeAS and Laboratorio Scienza. FameLab has been launched in 2005 by the Cheltenham Science Festival and it currently involves 30 countries; Italy joined in 2012, thanks to Psiquadro (the national coordinator) and the Italian British Council. The latter body promoted the global diffusion of the contest. FameLab Italy reached 20 cities and involved more than 900 young researchers, cooperating with over 70 partners such as Universities, research institutes, bodies, scientific communication companies, museums and media partners. FameLab Italy 2020 involved 15 cities, selecting 22 finalists; the winners will take part in the international final set in Cheltenham, United Kingdom.