It’s Science Week Ireland 2019 and I’m back in Ireland to speak all over the country about science and superheroes.
One event that I’ll be speaking at is the Ballyhoura Science Day. This SFI-funded event will be taking place on Saturday November 16th from 11.00 to 16.00 at the Croom Sports Complex in Croom, Co. Limerick. Admission is free and all are welcome.
There’s going to be lots of science-based stands and exhibitions at the Science Day including Wild Encounters, the Community Food Initiative, and the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.
I had the chance to chat with Amber Mothersoul – the Project Leader for the Ballyhoura Science Day – about the Science Day, the activities that will be available on the day, and of course superheroes.
For more information on the Ballyhoura Science Day, please go to the website www.visitballyhoura.com. You can also get further information on Twitter @Ballyhoura.
You can follow Barry Fitzgerald on Twitter @BarryWScience, on Instagram @bwscience, and get further information on his talks and books at bwscience.com.
This morning I was up bright and early. Just before 7 am. Due to my incredibly busy schedule it was the only time that I could grab a quick run. As I ran around Waterford City with the sunrise approaching, the reflected of light of Venus was obvious just above the cloudless horizon, reminding the early morning commuters and runners/walkers that it still existed.
As I ran out of People’s Park I reflected on the past week. A week of 29 talks and more than 1,750 km driven on the roads of Ireland. It’s been a superhero-powered rollercoaster. Ranging from talks in Limerick to speaking on the stage at the Iontas Theatre in Castleblayney in Co. Monaghan where Christy Moore will perform over the coming days, it has been a memorable adventure. Superheroes and superpowers have been the centre of attention but the real superheroes and superstars have been the audiences – they make it all worth while.
For example, this morning I gave superhero talks in Dungarvan Co. Waterford. My first talk was to a an-girl 5th class group (10 and 11 years old) from a primary school. Their positivity and interest in science and superheroes was fantastic and hopefully some of the students will consider a career in STEM subjects in the future. One or two of the students were exceptional with some of them coming up with very creative ways of creating superpowers and even managing superpowers in the future. There may be no need for the Sokovia Accords from Captain America: Civil War in the real world thanks to the ideas of these students.
The superhero talks continue over the coming days. Tomorrow I’m in Edgeworthstown to speak at the Midlands Science Festival and next week I’m back in Dublin for more talks. My adventure finishes next week with a talk in Co. Clare.
It’s so refreshing to meet so many people that are passionate about science, superheroes and the STEM subjects. Fingers crossed that some will be inspired to follow a science or engineering career after seeing some of the workshops this week.
At this very moment I’m sitting in a hotel bar in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan awaiting the arrival of my sustenance for the evening. The last two days have been for the majority spent on the road, listening to my specially prepared Spotify Science Week playlist. And yes there are some superhero musical scores in there in case you’re wondering.
Yesterday started out with two talks at the University of Limerick (UL) at the Bernal building. The talks focussed on Iron Man and superheroes in general respectively. In total more than 450 attended the talks. It was fantastic to spread the word on superheroes, superpowers, science and STEM to such a large audience. The image at the top was taken at the start of the talk. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger picture of myself on a wall before.
After the talks at UL, I made my way across Limerick to speak at Thomond Community College. Finally, yesterday evening I gave an outreach talk in Roxboro in Limerick to an audience with Leaving Cert students and the general public. Once that talk finished I made my way up to Dublin in order to cut my today’s journey to Monaghan in half.
Today was actually my first ever visit to Monaghan and I marked it by speaking at two all-girls schools in Carrickmacross and Monaghan Town. The students heard about advancements made by women researchers in the real world and the superhero films as well as the science behind the powers of some of the most powerful female superheroes in the films. For example, I promoted the great work of Jalila Essaidi BioArt Laboratories in Eindhoven, the amazing research of Associate Professor Ilja Voets and her team at TU Eindhoven. In addition I spoke about the development of the CRISPR/Cas system by Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators.
This evening I’ll be giving a workshop at the Iontas Theatre in Castleblayney about the Secrets of Superhero Science. More super-science and superhero secrets to be revealed.
Until the next Science Week update, take care and always think super.
Yesterday my Science Week adventure got kick-started with a talk at the Ennis Community Centre with one of the most unique aspects of the talk being the venue.
First, it was a little cold in there but given that I was jumping around during the presentation I didn’t really feel it. Second, there was a boxing ring right behind me, the gladiator arena used by Ennis Boxing Club when not hosting outreach talks about the prospects of a superpower-future. And finally all of this took place in an old chapel on of course – Chapel Lane. I’ve got to say it was a truly unique setting to give a talk about superheroes and superpowers.
There was a strong turnout for a bright but cold November Sunday afternoon for the talk. Plenty of curious minds and plenty of questions about having superpowers in the future. This year I’ve printed two postcards with red and green backs that I use during the workshops to do unofficial surveying. The highlights from the survey are that most people would like to have the eyesight of Hawkeye while not many are too keen on being cry-preserved in the future like the Winter Soldier. Probably deterred by the frosty ambience of the venue to be honest.
Onwards today to the University of Limerick and Thomond secondary school in Limerick before making the journey north for the Cavan-Monaghan Science Festival and further superhero presentations there tomorrow. The final presentation takes place just before kick-off of the Rep. of Ireland – Denmark World Cup playoff. I might need superpowers to see any part of it!
Think fast. Think super.
Time flies when you’re doing science. In the blink of an eye Science Week Ireland has come around once again and I’ve a seriously busy week ahead of me. In fact Science Week started in earnest for me last week with a school visit to Castletroy College in Limerick.
For this year’s Science Week I’ll be presenting some brand new superhero-superpower based research from researchers around the world, some of whom I know from my research career in the Netherlands and Ireland.
There’ll be lots of clips and references to the films, in particular the upcoming superhero films such as Justice League, which is released this coming week, Black Panther, which is out in February, and of course the film all superhero fans are talking about – Avengers: Infinity War.
First off this week I’m going to be in Ennis, Co. Clare to talk about the “Secrets of Superhero Science”. If you’re in the area and interested in hearing about some fascinating superhero-based science then drop by.
Over the coming days I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I make my way around Ireland for Science Week 2017.
Just over half way through my Science Week adventure and it has been a fantastic experience so far. I’ve spoken in Ennis, Limerick and Dublin and tomorrow I’m set to speak in Waterford and Dungarvan. Science Week has brought me from west to east and now down to the south coast. I’m getting a lightning tour of the Irish countryside.
Over the last few days I’ve met many students, teachers and members of the general public who have been fascinated by the amazing science behind the superheroes and Santa Claus. There is definitely the chance that some of the students will go on to create superpowers in the future. Hopefully they’ll remember where they got the ideas from and cite me in their Nobel Prize speeches.