President McAleese opens Young Scientist exhibition


Ireland's young scientists will help steer the country successfully through future trouble, President Mary McAleese said today.

Speaking at the official opening of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Mrs McAleese described the event, which is in its 45th year, as an "exceptional demonstration of Ireland’s young brainpower", and said the finalists would be the researchers, entrepreneurs and teachers who would "keep Ireland’s name in global lights as a centre of scientific and technological creativity and innovation".

"The insights of this generation, the questions they ask and the answers they construct tell us that this is a generation like no other in its confidence, its skill, its insight and its intellectual muscle," she said

"Today we have a problem-solving generation like no other and though economic times are much more difficult than anything they have encountered up to now, these are the young men and women with the analytical powers and the creative genius to navigate themselves and their country successfully through whatever future storms erupt."

More than 1,600 entries were received in four subject areas and three age categories for this year's competition, with the 500 group and individual projects representing the country's most innovative science and technology projects.

These projects will be assessed by over 70 judges before the final results are announced on Friday.

The finalists are competing for the top award as individual or group young scientist for 2009, and a chance to represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, which will take place in Paris later this year.

Other attractions include performances by "mathemagician" Andrew Jeffery, who performs magical mathematical tricks; Titan, the robot; and the "Globe of Death", where skilled performers on motorbikes will demonstrate centrifugal forces.

The exhibition at the RDS will be open to the public from tomorrow morning until Saturday evening.