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Science Week Ireland 2008


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CategoryBusiness
DateTuesday, November 11, 2008
AuthorNewsDesk@IrishDev.com

Science Week Ireland Launch

Over 90,000 people are expected to attend events across the country during Science Week Ireland 2008, which is running from Sunday 9th November until Sunday November 16th. Science Week, which is now in its twelfth year, was launched last week by Dr. Jimmy Devins T.D, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin.
 

Science Week Ireland is organised by Discover Science & Engineering, the Government’s integrated awareness programme for science awareness and promotion. Over 450 events are planned across the country during the week with over 18,000 visitors expected to visit science exhibits and workshops in Galway alone while in Cork over 5,000 people are expected to visit the Discovery 2008 event at Cork City Hall. 

 
The annual Science & Technology Fair at the Institute of Technology, Sligo officially kicked off Science Week.   The day long event saw the Institute opens its doors on Sunday 9th November. 
 

As part of Science Week Ireland 2008, Discover Science & Engineering has organised a series of free lectures open to the public in the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.  The Science Week Lecture Series, which is already booked out, will include Stephen Attenborough from Virgin Galactic, the world’s first space tourism agency; Patrick Collison, one of the Limerick teenagers who built ‘Auctomatic’, an Internet company which was subsequently sold for millions of dollars; Gerry Johnston, Irish special effects guru who worked on films such as Saving Private Ryan and Braveheart; Professor Aubrey Manning, a prominent zoologist; and Dr Cynthia Breazeal, a robotics expert from MIT.

 
Discovery 2008, Cork’s Interactive Science Exhibition, runs in City Hall again this year from 16th to 20th November. Young and old will enjoy experimenting with slime, creating electronic circuits and even playing hands-free basketball at the Family Day on Sunday 16th November from 3.00pm and school groups will visit for the following three days. The highlight for 2008 will be the unveiling of Cork’s own portable planetarium, recently acquired by Blackrock Castle Observatory. Visitors to Discovery will be the first to experience this high-tech illustrated journey to the stars.
 

The Galway Science & Technology Festival, now in its eleventh year will run from 10th – 23rd November.  Among the main highlights are the First Lego National Championships on Saturday 22nd November and the festival exhibition on Sunday 23rd November in the Galway Bay Hotel and Leisureland.

 
The aim of Science Week Ireland is to promote the relevance of science, engineering and technology in our everyday lives and to demonstrate the importance of these disciplines to the future development of Irish society and economy. ‘Science - Shaping Our World’ is the theme of this year’s Science Week and will illustrate that emerging technologies and the latest movements in science and engineering may influence mankind’s impact on the planet.

 
Speaking at the launch event, Minister Devins said, “Science Week is a fantastic vehicle for people of all ages to begin a journey of discovery into the world of science, engineering and technology. The activities, over the course of the week, will certainly demonstrate that science, engineering and technology are part of everything we do and everyday life.  Creating this understanding and awareness is critical as these disciplines are set to play an increasingly important role in the future development of our economy.  Understanding science and the impact it has on our lives is fundamental to understanding and appreciating the world we live in. As the theme of Science Week states, science indeed shapes our world.”
 

He continued, “We fully recognise that Ireland can only succeed in long term technological and enterprise development if it has a sustainable base of excellent science. Our schools, Universities and Institutes of Technology and through the Discover Science and Engineering programme, are the bedrock on which this system should be built. We will continue to invest, in the knowledge that we can reap the long term economic benefits for the economy.”

 
Leo Enright, Chairman, Discover Science & Engineering, said, “Science Week Ireland 2008 is set to be the biggest to date both in terms of the number of events and participants. The activities, over the course of the week, will certainly demonstrate the impact science, engineering and technology has on everyday life.  We must have suitably qualified people to drive a knowledge based economy.  Creating awareness of the career opportunities in science, engineering and technology and demonstrating the varied career options available to graduates will help to ensure that we have the availability of suitably qualified graduates.”

 
Throughout Science Week, events are scheduled to take place in libraries, schools, college campuses, airports, on-street, in nature reserves, parks and retail outlets, across the length and breadth of the country. Science Week targets children, secondary school students, parents, teachers and anyone who may be interested in science and its applications.
 

Science Week Ireland’s corporate partners include Abbott, Camara, CPL, the Department of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, MacLachlann and Donaldson, Merck, Microsoft, Sustainable Energy Ireland, Teagasc and Wyeth.
 

To celebrate the International Year of Planet Earth, the science week guide was not printed this year, thus reducing Science Week Ireland’s carbon footprint. For a complete calendar of what is happening around the country for Science Week Ireland 2008 please visit www.scienceweek.ie


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