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21/08/2014

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Famous faces galore at day two of the Competition

The final day of judging was a hectic one for some of the National Science + Engineering Competition finalists. Some of the special prizes were still to be decided, but we also had our celebrity judges at the Fair, who met with our top ten Finalists this morning. We will find out which of the top five from the science and maths stream and the top five from the engineering and technology stream will be awarded as the Young Scientist of the Year and Young Engineer of the Year at the Award Ceremony this evening.

The celebrity judging panel included, Brian Cox, Rachel Riley, Dick Strawbridge, Ben Miller, Mark Champkins, Shini Somara, Kate Bellingham, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and two Nobel prizewinners – Sir Tim Hunt and Professor Ada Yonath, both of whom were the stars of the first ever Nobels Live event on the Big Bang Stage this afternoon.

The Nobel laureates took questions from the audience, and the show was presented by Dermot Murnaghan. One audience member asked who the laureates told first when they received their prizes, and Sir Tim had to admit he couldn’t remember. Although, he did recall phoning his boss at the time, Sir Paul Nurse, to tell him the good news only to discover he wasn’t at his office, so instead had to leave a message.

Ada Yonath told the enthusiastic crowd that she thought the most important factor that led to her winning her Nobel Prize was her love for science. She explained that if you don’t find it fun then you just won’t succeed.

Greg Foot and Jenny Rohn also wowed the audience with some demonstrations and explanations on  genetics.

Some eagle-eyed attendees may also have seen the familiar face of the Youtube superstar, Charlie McDonnell, walking around the Fair. He’ll be making a video for his channel, Charlie is so cool like, all about the Competition, so keep your eyes peeled!

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