Science in a Flash: The ASBMB flash talk competition

Science in a Flash is not the usual scientific presentation, it is a creative challenge: How do you explain your research to a general audience in just three minutes and one slide? This annual competition features short talks from selected presenters who are challenged to distill their research to its essence and make it more accessible to the nonexpert audience, including policymakers, family and friends, K–12 students, teachers and others.

Each year, the ASBMB Science Outreach and Communication Committee selects up to 10 graduate student and postdoc annual meeting travel awardees to present their work. Presenters are judged by a panel of committee members, and attendees play a major role in selecting the best talk for the audience choice award. At #DiscoverBMB 2023, we hosted the fourth annual flash talk competition.

Do you want to learn more about crafting your own flash talk? Below are helpful resources and example presentations showcasing past winners. For more guidance or information email us at:

Science in a Flash: The ASBMB flash talk competition image


Examples of flash talks

This YouTube playlist features the three winning talks given at the 2022 Science in a Flash competition.


How to create a flash talk

Quick tips for creating a flash talk that anyone can use to think about how to present an impactful research pitch in a short period of time.

Science in a Flash: How to give a successful flash talk

If you had just one figure, three minutes and a microphone to describe your research — could you do it?

Make your own science figures and illustrations

Biorender allows you to browse pre-made icons and templates from various fields of life science.

Make your talk accessible to any audience

De-Jargonizer is a helpful tool to analyze the amount of jargon (or specialized language) in your writing or script.

Use analogies

Learn from Lifeology: How to create an analogy for science communication.

Practice distilling your core message

Half Life is an AI-based tool that can help you hone your message.

Make your story relatable

The 3M Scientists as storytellers guide offers advice on how to make your story captivating and inclusive.

2023 Science in a Flash winners

Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice Awards

Kylie Deng, University of Sydney
The islet environment: Location matters

Students’ Choice Award

Isaiah Mensah, Purdue University
You may fall in love, but your genes control the heart

Honorary Mention Award

Connor O’Hara, Virginia Commonwealth University
Pulling tumors out by their roots

Meet the other 2023 presenters

agrawal balci guha kamath nguyen pehar shukla

2022 winners

Judges’ Honorary Mention Award

Kara Anazia, University of Florida
A break in cellular communication

Audience Choice Award

Joanna Kwiatek, Rutgers University
How does bread baking lead to studying lipid metabolism?

Judges’ Choice Award

Wei Wei, Stanford University
Discovery of exercise-induced anti-obesity hormones

Meet the other 2022 presenters

david hardy karunanayake maskey obi poudyal siegel