Robots and revelations: Science Gallery launches 2017 programme

Next year’s exhibitions will look at artificial intelligence, and explore different ways our society could collapse

From left, Prof Chris Morash of TCD, Lynn Scarff, Science Gallery Dublin director, and Senator Lynn Ruane  in an installation by Elaine Hoey called  The Weight of Water at the Science Gallery programme launch. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

From left, Prof Chris Morash of TCD, Lynn Scarff, Science Gallery Dublin director, and Senator Lynn Ruane in an installation by Elaine Hoey called The Weight of Water at the Science Gallery programme launch. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Robot helpers, impossible sounds and the the apocalypse are part of next year’s exhibitions at Science Gallery Dublin.

In a speech launching the programme, the vice provost of Trinity College Dublin Prof Chris Morash made reference to the “astonishing things” that are happening in science labs in Dublin such as “researchers 3D printing bones and looking at materials that are so radically unstable you can’t make them flat. We live in the age of the casual miracle, at a time when things that would have been miraculous 20, 30, 40 years ago are mentioned in conversation passing in the corridor. What Science Gallery does is return the miraculous to us.”

Humans Need Not Apply, which will open in February, asks if the rise of robots will put humans out to pasture, and whether the resulting society will resemble a leisure-filled utopia, or a robot-tended zoo. It will look at the rise of intelligent machines and how they are surpassing us in nearly every skill set.

Make Noise will encourage the gallery’s audience to make music with a series of installations, and explores what tomorrow’s music will sound like. Collapse looks at the end of days and the differences between crashes in societies, ecosystems and economies – and why we find them fascinating. Its curators are looking at how the world might end, how likely the various scenarios are, and what we can do about it.

Science Gallery director Lynn Scarff said: “More than ever, we believe we need to demonstrate how the merging of art and science within cultural practice can provide a platform for conversation and greater understanding – and be a safe space to try on potential futures.”

The organisation is also growing its educational outreach through its Makeshop building and workshop programme. It’s an extensive year-long programme of school visits, workshops and low-cost classes in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Speaking at the launch, Senator Lynn Ruane praised the gallery’s work in this area, especially near her home in Killinarden in Dublin, and joked that she was continuing a campaign to “merge Trinity and Tallaght. Soon we’ll be saying TriniTallaght.”

The organisation is currently undergoing a rapid expansion internationally. Science galleries in Bangalore, India and Melbourne, Australia are on a recruitment drive; Science Gallery London is nearing the end of its first show, and recently attracted headlines for an exhibition that asked if dental retainers are the future of oral sex.

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