So You Want to Be A Scientist Searching for the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year

In 2012 Material World - Radio 4's weekly science show - helped four amateur scientists turn their ideas into real-life experiments.

The Winner

Val Watham

Val Watham has been chosen as the BBC's Amateur Scientist of the Year, for her study on the science of fashion.

Find out more about Val's experiment
Val's fashion experiment on Facebook

The Finalists

All our finalists presented their results at Cheltenham Science Festival on June 16 2012 in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. The runners-up were:

- Dara Djavan Khoshdel wanted to find out if the price of art correlates to our emotional response to the work.
- Val Watham investigated whether horizontal or vertical stripes are more flattering to wear.
- William Rudling is a caricaturist trying to discover whether people who look the same also sound the same.
- Izzy Thomlinson wanted to know why horrible noises affect some people more than others.

Brian Cox explains what makes a good experiment...

Entries are now closed

Last Time

Ruth Brooks

In 2010, gardening grandmother Ruth Brooks was crowned the winner of So You Want to Be a Scientist?

“One of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of my life.”
Ruth Brooks on the Radio 4 Blog

Her experiment involved measuring the homing distance of garden snails. You can follow Ruth's research diary on Facebook and her post on the Radio 4 Blog.

Other finalists researched crowd density at music gigs, the psychology of Facebook and noctilucent clouds.

You can read about the range of entries we received in this BBC News article, "So you want to be a scientist?" from the programme's producer.

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For more information about So You Want To Be A Scientist and who was eligible to apply, read our full Terms and Conditions.

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