Stony Brook Graduate Student Lyl Tomlinson Wins Second Place in International Famelab Competition

University News

STONY BROOK GRADUATE STUDENT LYL TOMLINSON WINS SECOND PLACE IN INTERNATIONAL FAMELAB COMPETITION

STONY BROOK, NY, June 10, 2014 — Lyl Tomlinson, a PhD candidate in Neuroscience at Stony Brook University, traveled to England last week where he won second place in the International Famelab competition, a contest that challenges young scientists to talk about their research engagingly for a general audience.
Tomlinson, 25, a Brooklyn College graduate, won the US National title last month in Washington DC over nearly 100 early career scientists from across the country who participated in six regional heats over the last 18 months. The FameLab International finals, held June 5 at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, UK hosted the winners of FameLab competitions from 23 other countries. The contest is sponsored by NASA, National Geographic, and the Cheltenham Science Festival.
“The international FameLab competition was a great experience,” Tomlinson said. “I not only made friends from many different countries, but it helped me realize that the basic science communicating skills that I learned here, translate well all over the world.”
“We’re thrilled for Lyl and this accomplishment.  It’s a delight to watch one of our students excel on an international stage,” said Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, improvisation coordinator for The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. “Beyond helping us all understand his research better, I can easily imagine Lyl achieving one of his life goals of becoming a mentor to underprivileged kids considering a life in science.

Tomlinson has participated in Alda Center programs since last spring, when, as a Teaching Assistant in Biology, he received training in improvisational theater techniques from the Alda Center.  Since then, working with Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, the Alda Center’s improvisation coordinator, he has helped launch the Alda Center’s Science Unplugged program, in which Stony Brook graduate students go to local high schools and libraries to talk about their research.     
During the …

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