Forget American Idol, there's a new contest in town. A panel of three expert science communicators will provide feedback to five early-career chemists competing for the title of American Chemical Society’s Chemistry Champion.
The contest starts at 10 p.m. ET on Aug. 10. Both in-person audience members and viewers watching online will be able to vote for their favorite finalist via SMS text and Twitter.
If you're in San Francisco and want to see the event live, go to The Kanbar Forum at the Exploratorium, Pier 15. All attendees must RSVP via http://bit.ly/ChChFinal, with entrance guaranteed to the first 150 ticketed attendees.
Not on the west coast? You can check out the festivities via a live stream.
The three judges are Lydia Franco-Hodges, instructor from The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science; Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon and The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons; and Dr. Kiki Sanford, host of This Week in Science. The winning Chemistry Champion will fly to Washington, D.C., to shoot an ACS Reactions video and meet professional science communicators.
And to answer your next question: Yes, it's that Alan Alda -- otherwise known as Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce from M*A*S*H fame. While Hawkeye won't be there, how cool is it that he has this whole center dedicated to communicating science?
UPDATE: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Jennifer Novotney, a graduate student at Cornell University, was voted the 2014 Chemistry Champion by a live audience and by viewers over a live video stream.
Novotney, who spoke on the importance of polymers to everyday life and her research using polymer materials to detect substances like the explosive TNT, won all the fabulous prizes associated with the Chemistry Champion contest.
The 2014 runner-up Chemistry Champion was Alexis Shusterman, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. During the competition, Shusterman spoke about her research to increase the accuracy of tracking emissions of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
You can watch the entire presentation:
Traci Purdum, Senior Digital Editor and fan of American Idol, Alan Alda and great science communicators. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.