Science Week: from the internet’s effect on fashion to the workings of love

Events around the country from November 13th will celebrate the science of the everyday

Niamh Shaw performing her show To Space in Edinburgh in 2015. Photograph: Conor Burnell

Niamh Shaw performing her show To Space in Edinburgh in 2015. Photograph: Conor Burnell

 

What is the “internet of fashionable things”? Can Shakespeare help you fall in love? And what would it take to get to space? Questions such as these can only mean one thing: Science Week is on the way.

Kicking off on November 13th, the initiative encompasses festivals in Cork, Kerry, Sligo, Limerick, Galway, Mayo, Cavan, Monaghan and the midlands as well as numerous other events around the country.

“This year the message is that science is everywhere and for everyone,” says Dr Ruth Freeman, director of strategy and communications at Science Foundation Ireland, which runs Science Week. “There are lots of events about the everyday – like golf, fashion and food. Maybe you think you don’t have a direct connection with science, but you do.”

Fashioning science
 

Decoding Fashion, a panel discussion at Science Gallery Dublin, will look at the challenges of introducing and maintaining online sales, especially in a luxury fashion market where so much is tied to the physical experience, says host, fashion blogger and technophile Sinéad Burke. “How can that feeling be made tangible when the boutique is replaced by a click and postal delivery?” she asks. “Also, the term Internet of Things [where devices are connected and can share data] has gained huge momentum, but how does the fashion industry fit within this futuristic view of online? What impact will sustainability, or lack thereof, play within this era and how can technologies such as 3D printing merge with an archaic industry to create beautiful and innovative product?”

Find your place in space

Scientist and engineer-turned-performer Dr Niamh Shaw will have a busy Science Week. She will take part in a discussion led by comedian Dara Ó Briain about Scintillating Science in the National Concert Hall (booked out) and host her own panels about Shakespeare and the science of love. “We will be looking at the chemistry of falling in love, how people thought about love hundreds of years ago and the science of the iambic pentameter. It’s a fusion of history and literature and science,” she says.

Shaw will be doing her own performances, including To Space, based on her own aspirations to become an astronaut, and My Place in Space, an interactive family event about the scale of the universe and our place in it.

Shaw will delve into even more detail on the future of space travel at an event in the Ark in Dublin called I Still Want to Go to Space. science.ie

Hack around the clock

If you like your science and engineering hands-on, then Science Hack Day Dublin could be just the thing. At this free, weekend-long hackathon for over-18s that runs at the TOG Hackerspace on November 19th and 20th, participants pitch ideas and teams work to make them a reality.

Ideas on the website already include a hardware rig to capture water droplets in photographs and a sensor-based system to alert motorists when they get too close to cyclists.

Dr David McKeown, who has run the annual event in Dublin since 2012, says it’s all about creativity and fun: “We provide materials, space and food and we want everyone to join in making these ideas real. It’s about the challenge and rewards of inventing ways to solve problems.” sciencehackdaydublin.com

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