What’s On Regionally This Science Week | Socialising Science

All things Science week

It’s Science Week from November 13th to 20th, so what better way to celebrate it than to give you a post packed full of really interesting festivals and events happening across the country for people of all ages.

Science week is a week long series of science-related events for the general public to engage and inspire people of all ages with science, engineering and technology.  In its 21st year, a number of regional festivals are happening across the country as well as a rich programme of content from RTE and Teagasc research centres. There’s far too much for me to cover in this post, but let me give you a taster of some of the highlights around the country. For full details of everything happening during Science week, go to their website and hopefully I might see you about. Be sure to come say hello if our paths cross and tell me about the events you’re enjoying most.

1. Dublin Science Festival

Peak Performance – The Science Behind Sporting Success

Royal Hospital Kilmainham Thursday November 17th, 8pm

peak performance
Photo: Peak Performance (Credit Science Foundation Ireland 2016)

Here’s one for all you budding sports fanatics or indeed if you have a passing interest in how to get the best from your body.  With a special line up of leading experts in the field of sports performance, nutrition and physiology this evening event will uncover the truth behind pushing your body to the limit and what it really means to live a healthy lifestyle. From GAA to running and mountaineering, gain insights from our expert’s truly inspiring sporting stories and learn how to apply best practice to your own performance and daily lives. Panellists include: Cathal Cregg (Roscommon Footballer/ Strength and Condition Coach Connaught GAA), Brendan Egan (Co- Founder FoodFlicker/ Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology DCU), Daniel Davey (Co-founder FoodFlicker/ Performance Nutritionist to Leinster Rugby and Dublin Senior Football), Jessie Barr (Olympic 4×400 Relay Competitor/ Sports Psychology), Roger McMorrow (Consultant Anaesthetist/ Caudwell Xtreme Everest Research Expedition). Hear from Irelands top athletes & experts in how to push your body to its limits. Tickets range from €7-€20 and book here.

‘The Science of Bubbleology’ Family event with Scientific Sue, Royal Kilmainham Hospital, Thursday Nov 17th 3.30pm, 5.30pm

Photo: The Science of Bubbleology (Credit Scientific Sue, 2016)

If you haven’t already been to a Scientific Sue show before you HAVE to go to this! I took my little niece to this show earlier this year and she had a ball (and so did I!). This show is all about my favourite thing– bubbles! Big, small, bouncing, touchable, floating, sinking. Bubbles hold many wonders and create lots of excitement! Have you ever wondered why bubbles float? Why we can see rainbows in bubbles? Why bubbles are round? Can we make bubbles in other liquids? What is the secret behind big bubbles? Come along to answer these questions and see for yourself the Magic of Bubbleology. With the help of lots of volunteers, Sue will attempt to show many incredible bubble tricks and the science behind them! You wont be disappointed. Tickets range from €5-€20 and book here.

‘The End is Nigh’ series of lunchtime talks at Science Gallery 15th, 16th & 17th November

Photo: Science Gallery

For Science Week 2016 the Science Gallery is exploring potential global catastrophes – and providing three free lunchtime talks. The experts will address extra-planetary threats, the risks of Artificial Intelligence, and how humanity should deal with global change. Free admission but booking is essential. All details are on their website here.

‘100 Years of General Relativity: from Black Holes to Gravitational Waves ‘ presented by Astronomy Ireland, Nov 14th at Trinity College Physics building

Dr. Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, physicist at Waterford IT, presents this special Science week lecture on Einsteins greatest contribution to science, this General Theory of Relativity. This seminar will present a brief history of the theory and explain how it led to a new view of space, time and gravitation considering how general relativity led to the prediction of black holes , gravitational waves , the expanding universe and the big bang ; modern astronomical evidence supporting each of these predictions will be described. Further details and booking here.

Zero Days at the IFI November 15

On Tuesday, November 15th the Irish Film Institute will present a screening of Zero Days, an interrogative look at how global relations have become more complicated by technology. Directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room; Taxi to The Dark Side), the screening will be followed by a panel discussion with guests, Orla Cox, Security Intelligence Delivery at Symantec and Pól Mac Aonghusa, Senior Research Manager at the IBM Research Lab. 

Zero Days sees Gibney go on the trail of cyber terrorism, specifically targeting the so-called Stuxnet worm, a computer virus that appeared around the world in 2012 before arriving at its destination, Iranian nuclear facilities. Its mission was to destroy uranium-enriching centrifuges, which represented a new level of sophistication in virus complexity; its potentially devastating application has been spoken of as an act of war during peacetime.

Zero Days is a timely, important, and terrifying work that fearlessly addresses one of the most worrying developments in modern international relations. It serves as a reminder that the polite world of face-to-face diplomacy is now only one piece of an increasingly dark and complex puzzle.

Tickets for Zero Days + Panel Discussion are available now from www.ifi.ie or by calling the IFI Box Office on 01- 6793477.

2. Cork Science Festival

Science Rising City Hall, Cork Saturday Nov 19th

Cork Science Rising Science Week
Photo: Science Rising (Credit: Cork Science Festival 2016)

Choose from two exciting shows this year FOR ONE DAY ONLY in City Hall, Cork. ‘Science Rising: Small Beginnings’ will be fun for Cork’s smallest scientists (up to age 8) with spinning plates, balloons & bubbles. ‘Science Rising: The Big Picture’ uses the latest in 3D technology to show older children & adults the beginning of our Solar System and takes us on a flight over the surface of Mars. A free event brought to you by Cork City Council as part of Science week. Further details and booking here

“Star Trek: First contact” St. Lukes, Friday November 11th

Cork Science Festival have teamed up with Happenings to present the cinematic sci-fi spectacular “Star Trek: First Contact” on Friday 11th November at 8pm in the stunning St Luke’s, Cork City.

Star Trek’s narratives have often been filled with scientific references to tachyon beams, baryon sweeps, quantum fluctuations and event horizons. Will we ever travel faster than light or make first contact with aliens? To discuss we are joined by Cork filmmaker and Trekkie expert Emmet O’Brien and astronomer and physicist Frances McCarthy to explore the close linkages between the Star Trek universe and real life science. In its 50 golden years, Star Trek has created universal sci-fi culture and Cork too, has a long and prosperous history of science and research.

Tickets are available for €5 (plus booking fee). Doors open at 7.30 pm. Movie begins at 8.00 pm. See www.happenings.ie for tickets and www.corksciencefestival.ie for more event info.

3. Cavan/Monaghan Science Festival

This is Cavan & Monaghan’s first Science week festival and they have put together a really interesting programme of events, all of which are free. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, full details on this festival are here. In addition to the shows I’ve already outlined in the section about what I’ll be getting up to, you might also like these too:

Why Keep Bees & Medicinal Properties of Honey


Tuesday 15th (Monaghan) & Wednesday 16th  (Carrickmacross) November 11am

In Ireland we have been keeping Bees since the end of the Ice Age when the temperature rose to current levels to allow Bees to colonise our Country and gave the first settlers their only source of sugar which encouraged them to rob the bees, the honey also provided medical solutions and of course alcohol in the form of Mead, consequently there is a deep seated interest in bees in the DNA of the local population. Honey has a long Medicinal History going back to the dawn of time..find out more at this talk/workshop.  A fascinating event that I would really like to attend, plus I think my Dad, Thomas Shaw (Master Beekeeper) & Secretary of the Beekeepers Association of Ireland is giving this talk. A free event but booking is essential here.

‘Rain, Rain Go Away…’  The Irish Weather with Gerry Murphy

Wednesday November 16th Carrickmacross

Carrickmacross man and Meteorologist, weather forecaster with RTE One Gerry Murphy, will discuss the nature of Irish weather and forecasting weather for Ireland, taking into account its challenges and uncertainties with emphasis on forecasts for Farmers. He will talk about Climate change and future projections for Ireland, particularly the Northeast region. A free event but booking is essential here.

4. Teagasc Science Festival:

‘Festival of Farming and Food: A Taste of Food Science’

Dublin Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, Nov 17th 6.30pm

The National Food Research Centre opens its doors for this special science week event to meet some of their researchers and find out more about the science of food. Questions like how we use all our senses to relate to food, how sausages are made, how clean your hands really are, are just some of the topics covered at the open evening event. Researchers will be there to talk to you about their work, and there will be a series of short talks running throughout the evening. Shuttle bus to take you to the centre will be available from Ashtown Roundabout and Train station. Admission is free.

5. Limerick Science Festival


‘Secrets of Superhero Science’, Roxboro Community Centre, Monday Nov 14th 7pm

Here’s an interesting event: Scientists are closer than you might think to superpowers and in this talk you’re going to hear about some of the exciting scientific research that could produce superpowers in the future. You’ll learn about the possibility of genetically engineering the X-Men, discover why Hawkeye’s eyesight is so advanced and learn about the science behind producing spider silk just like Spider-Man. You’ll also hear about how we should introduce superpowers into modern society and how we can control those with superpowers. Admission is free and further details are here

6. Kerry Science Festival

This is Kerry’s first Science festival and they have a great line up of events to choose from here. Here’s just one to watch out for:

‘Aliens vs Predators’, Dingle Aquarium Nov 12th 12pm

science week alien vs predator
Photo: Aliens vs Predators (Credit Kerry Science Festival 2016)

An exciting presentation given by Kevin Flannery about how the very famous movies Aliens and Predators were actually inspired by some of natures own creations. Many of the deep sea creatures have inspired film-makers and artists over the years and ultimately become film stars themselves! Admission is free and booking details are here.


We do our best to cover as many national science/curious events as we can in this column, so if you have an event coming up, email [email protected] with ‘Socialising Science’ in the Subject line and we’ll include it in the next column.