Science week gets under way with a (controlled) bang

Events aim to promote interest in taking up science and technology-related subjects

For all those who feel superior to vegetables, Science Week kicked off yesterday with the news that potatoes have more chromosomes than humans. The 19th annual National Science Week features more than 800 events across the country aimed at educating people about – and sometimes revealing the funnier side of – science.

In Dublin, the Curiosity Lab in Temple Bar has transformed Smock Alley Theatre into a science and technology adventure playground. Displays feature robotic heads, snap-together electronics, colourbots, marble runs and mountains of Lego.

The Space Tourist event on Thursday will invite the audience to delve into the future of space travel with special guests, Nasa astronaut Greg Johnson, Dr Niamh Shaw and Prof Ian Robertson.

Also in Dublin, the Celebrate Science Smashing Science programme, running from November 13th-15th, will involve a series of films, discussions and interactions with scientists. Science movie buffs, tech lovers and those with enquiring minds are invited to Dublin's CHQ Building for evenings of film, discussion and exploration.


Across the country there are events in Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and the midlands. Co-ordinated by SFI Discover, the education and public engagement programme of Science Foundation Ireland, Science Week aims to inspire young people to study and take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

According to Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of SFI, the week "truly is an open invitation to everyone to explore the power of science and how it impacts our world. It is imperative that we encourage young people in particular to consider science subjects for their studies and future careers. Science, technology, engineering and maths offer rewarding career paths and form the basis of a sustainable economy." For a full list of events see

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist