TV presenter Karl now loves his science

Karl Byrne
Karl Byrne

A TV presenter from Dromara who admits once disliking science is urging scientists to take part in a FameLab contest which comes to Northern Ireland in February.

Karl Byrne, who took part in the contest eight years ago, now writes science shows on the Discovery Channel and said that entering the contest reminds him why he loves science so much.

The global science competition, organised by the British Council in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival, has helped a number of scientists climb the career ladder.

Karl (34), took part in the competition back in 2006, when he was studying for his PhD in Clinical Biochemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Since the competition, he has gone on to write science shows, present on the Discovery Channel, train scientists and science communicators, lecture in science communication and design exhibitions for science centres. He is currently the Senior Programme Coordinator at Cheltenham Science Festival.

“Before entering FameLab, I’d started to dislike science, which was horrible for me, as I’ve wanted to work in this field since I was four years old,” said Karl. “FameLab reminded me of why I love science — which is why I do what I do now.”

Karl, who produced talks on cloning and why viruses are good, won the Belfast heat and got through to the UK grand finale at Cheltenham.

He said: “I initially entered FameLab as a friend told me about it and threatened to kill me if I didn’t come along. I wanted to learn more about the media and how TV production works, so his bugging eventually convinced me to take part.

“I’m so glad I did – it might sound clichéd, but FameLab is a life-changing experience and has taken my career in a completely new direction.”

To enter log onto http://nireland.britishcouncil.org. Closing date is December 31.