With a name eerily similar to the novel and film Fight Club, it could put fear in the hearts of anyone looking to join. But you won’t find bloody bare-knuckle fistfights at FABI’s FAME Club. Instead, you’ll find science-mad enthusiasts battling each other to present science papers in just three minutes. And members have one rule to adhere to that sets the club apart from Fight Club: always talk about FAME Club!

The first FAME Club seminars took place at FABI on October 28 with students showcasing their passion and skills in communicating scientific endeavours in short but creative and fun presentations. Danielle Roodt and Andi Wilson facilitated the five speakers’ rounds of three minutes each.

Joey Hulbert presented on the paper: "Citizen Science helps predict risk of emerging, infectious diseases". He spoke about the role of lay people, or citizen scientists, in collecting data for scientific research. Jan Nagel summarised the paper: "The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties" about the first octopus genome sequenced. Elsie Cruywagen illustrated how pharmaceutical drugs such as antidiabetic medication and antibiotics polluted water and the environment as well as the effect of this pollution on the health of other living beings such as birds and insects. Her talk stemmed from the paper: "Drugging the environment".

Darryl Herron presented on how the evolving human diet could influence the genetic structure of bacteria in the gut. This was based on the paper: "Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome". Angelica Marsberg spoke about a recent milestone for South African scientists in the discovery of human relative Homo naledi from the paper: "Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa". She highlighted how responding to a call for slender "underground scientists" made the discovery of the fossils possible.

The audience voted Elsie Cruywagen the first FAME Club champion and Angelica Marsberg and Darryl Herron the two runners-up. FABI Director Professor Mike Wingfield sponsored the first and runners-up prizes which included a book voucher, a memory stick and chocolate.