British Council supports 2 million followers Scientific TikToker to succeed as Thailand’s representative at ‘FameLab International 2021’

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It is undeniable that communicating with the public in the 20th century is becoming easier. In this new era, anyone with good communication skills, great content and a social media channel, can be a communicator or a storyteller impacting people’s lives as a social media influencer. The same goes for this renowned content creator ‘Ice – Sirawit Ittisoponpisan’Lecturer and Researcher, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, the owner of ‘AJ ICE’ on TikTok presenting micro-learning media of scientific content, who has more than 2 million followers. A PhD graduate in Bioinformatics from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, Ice represented Thailand in the annual global science communication competition – FameLab International 2021. Competing against 25 countries, Ice won the Audience Choice Award and shared his three tips to be great at communicating science.

Scientific Content Creator with more than 100 million likes.

Dr Sirawit Ittisoponpisan, Lecturer and Researcher, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University took us back to the beginning of his TikTok journey, which started during his placement as a lecturer at the University when he was not confident about his communication skills. At that time, TikTok launched the TikTok Uni campaign to support educational content creators, which he foresaw as an opportunity to improve his content creation and communication skills. This was the outset of his journey to share popular scientific knowledge in easy-to-understand content with the hashtag #วิทย์ที่คุณไม่รู้, touching on beliefs, scientific phenomenon, to astronomy and space. He then digested this content and answered science questions in short video content which received great feedback from the newer generations, students, and those interested in science. Currently, he has over 2 million followers and an astounding amount of 105 million likes.

“Science communication is important because science is everywhere, but there are still communication gaps between the scientists and general population. Most importantly, science teaches us to think critically. Therefore, if people receive good science communication and think critically like a scientist, it will improve their understanding of science and they won’t be misled easily, especially from fake news on social media.”

Thailand’s representative achieves success in the ‘FameLab International 2021’

‘I was delighted and excited to compete in the international competition because it gave me the opportunity to meet with the top contestants from many countries’ Dr. Ice shared. ‘The competition seeks out the best of the best of science communicators; so I had to put full effort to prepare myself and practiced hard’.

His topic for the competition was “The power of prediction amid the pandemic”, inspired by his doctoral research on predicting changes or mutations in virus, in become one of the first steps for vaccine development and treatment for epidemics like COVID-19. With his determination and dedication, he was rewarded with the Audience Choice Award, intriguing both judges and audiences from more than 25 countries worldwide.

Dr Ice also added that while the competition had to be held online, he gained a lot from joining FameLab; the new collaboration and exchanging ideas between scientists from around the world; the communication skills and techniques from other countries through the masterclass training; and meeting with the former FameLab champions who became successful and an inspiration. He also had the opportunity to connect with a contestant from the Netherlands who studies the dengue virus, a topic of interest to him, and this is only just the beginning of a new network amongst scientists from many countries. With his awards, both domestically and internationally, many opportunities arose; being an MC at an international academic conference organised by Prince of Songkla University, as well as a guest speaker sharing his knowledge and techniques on the use of English and scientific communications to other universities.

3 tips that will make difficult to digest content effortless

His triumph over domestic and international awards were not easy, intense preparation and practice were involved. Dr Ice shared his three important tips of science communication that will make it easier to transform difficult scientific content into a fun and enjoyable one in three minutes. The three tricks are 1. Correct and accurate content – communicating scientific content needs to be accurate so the listener can understand correctly; 2. Easy to follow – A good science communicator should be able to digest often complex scientific content for the general audiences, and 3. Charisma – no matter the communication, audiences are drawn to engaging speakers. While this is based on individual personalities and styles, constant practice will help to ensure that the delivery is natural and with minimal mistakes.

Dr Ice also added that while the competition had to be held online, he gained a lot from joining FameLab; the new collaboration and exchanging ideas between scientists from around the world; the communication skills and techniques from other countries through the masterclass training; and meeting with the former FameLab champions who became successful and an inspiration. He also had the opportunity to connect with a contestant from the Netherlands who studies the dengue virus, a topic of interest to him, and this is only just the beginning of a new network amongst scientists from many countries. With his awards, both domestically and internationally, many opportunities arose; being an MC at an international academic conference organised by Prince of Songkla University, as well as a guest speaker sharing his knowledge and techniques on the use of English and scientific communications to other universities.

3 tips that will make difficult to digest content effortless

His triumph over domestic and international awards were not easy, intense preparation and practice were involved. Dr Ice shared his three important tips of science communication that will make it easier to transform difficult scientific content into a fun and enjoyable one in three minutes. The three tricks are 1. Correct and accurate content – communicating scientific content needs to be accurate so the listener can understand correctly; 2. Easy to follow – A good science communicator should be able to digest often complex scientific content for the general audiences, and 3. Charisma – no matter the communication, audiences are drawn to engaging speakers. While this is based on individual personalities and styles, constant practice will help to ensure that the delivery is natural and with minimal mistakes.

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