Friday, June 21, 2013

Robert Boyle Summer School 2013

The 2nd Annual Robert Boyle Summer School will take place in beautiful Lismore, Co. Waterford from the 4th-7th of July and will feature a talk on the future of plant science.

A stimulating programme features speakers from around the world, panel discussions, a tour of Lismore Castle Gardens also a barbecue in the Castle Courtyard and a guided coach tour of West Waterford.

It will attract people with an interest in history, heritage, philosophy and science. According to a spokesperson: "It is not a science conference, but a gathering where people of all backgrounds can meet and consider the place of science in our lives".

The school celebrates the life, work and legacy of Robert Boyle who was born in Lismore Castle. Boyle was a central figure in the development of modern science and ranks alongside Galileo, Descartes and Newton whose work ushered in the modern age.
Prof. Liam Dolan

One of the highlights of the weekend will be a talk by Prof. Liam Dolan (Oxford) on advances in plant science and how we can help feed the world's ever growing population. This should be particularly topical given this week's speech by British Minister Owen Paterson in which he called for a renewed debate about GM crops in Britain.

Speaking to Communicate Science, founder of the Robert Boyle Summer School, Eoin Gill (WIT) said such an event dealing with science had been missing from the Irish calendar:

"For a long time Ireland has had summer schools celebrating many cultural figures / themes. One huge aspect of our culture that has been missing is science! The Robert Boyle Summer School now fills that gap and provides a place for scientist and non-scientists to meet and engage with science. Such an event is important for all of us concerned with public engagement with science and we need widespread support to continue".

More information on the summer school can be found at

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Irish researcher is scicomm World champion

How's this for science communication? University College Cork postgraduate student Fergus McAuliffe has just won Famelab International at the Cheltenham Science festival. You can read the full details about Fergus's win here and watch his winning presentation below.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Waterford Mortar

A recent trip to Waterford led to a visit to the excellent new Medieval Museum and Bishop's Palace museum. Together with Reginald's Tower they form a trio of sites which form Waterford's Museum of Treasures.

The Medieval Museum in particular is a stunning addition to the city's tourism offering and must rank as one of the best and most sensitively designed building in Ireland in recent years.

One object that caught my eye in the Bishop's Palace museum is this  bronze mortar used by a Waterford chemist to make up remedies. The mortar would have had an accompanying wooden pestle. Inscribed Michael Tonnery, Apothecary in Waterford 1707, the object was still in use in the 20th century in White's chemists, O'Connell Street.

The object was purchased by the museum with the assistance of Bausch and Lomb.

The Museum(s) of Treasures are certainly worth a visit if you're in Waterford. In particular, the Medieval Museum houses a set of pre-reformation vestments (the only to survive in Britain or Ireland) which are stunning examples of fifteenth century needlework.

  © Communicate Science; Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2012

Back to TOP