All you need to know about the where and when of Science Week

Experts at the ready to answer your questions on social media initiative #StopAndAsk

The weird and wonderful of Science Week: Jonathan McCrea, The Sugar Club, Dubland and others on show this week.

The weird and wonderful of Science Week: Jonathan McCrea, The Sugar Club, Dubland and others on show this week.


Public interest in science has reached a new high if Science Week 2018 is anything to go by as an unprecedented 1,200 events are being staged throughout the country.

The extent of curiosity is indicated by the level of participation in Science Foundation Ireland’s “stop and ask” social media initiative #StopAndAsk, now in its second year. The public are being encouraged to pose questions and leading Irish scientists are online to provide answers.

The variety of questions can range from the weird to the wonderful. And some of the #StopAndAsk questions already on the agenda include: “Could Spiderman really exist?”; “If I breathe in enough helium would I float?”; and “How does an autistic brain work compared to a neurotypical one?”

Among the Science Week events:

  • The Cavan-Monaghan Science Festival will be host to Zombie Science: Worst Case Scenario with Doctor Smith, Theoretical Zombiologist, on Tuesday at 7pm at the Market House in Co Monaghan.
  • The midlands festival is taking a reptile zoo to Banagher Library in Co Offaly from 11am to 1pm, with shows every half an hour, on Saturday.
  • Suzanne Kane’s and PJ Gallagher’s Dubland podcast will feature a Science Week takeover at the Laughter Lounge set for 7pm, Tuesday.
  • Baking in space with Great British Bake Off finalist and aerospace engineer Andrew Smyth, and with Irish scientist and space explorer Dr Niamh Shaw, on Tuesday and Wednesday at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin.
  • Gulp, a popular element of Electric Picnic’s Theatre of Food returns with broadcaster Jonathan McCrea and Dalkey Food Company’s Ivan Varian at The Sugar Club at 7pm on Thursday.
  • Plant Power at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin is part of a Festival of Farming and Food, hosted by Teagasc. This is part of a series of events for school children and the general public to highlight the importance of plant breeding in sustainable food production. O’Connell School in Dublin is hosting a fun “blood and guts” demonstration on Friday. This includes dissections and experiments in an event it has opened to local primary schools.
  • The popular Science Week Family Open Day returns to the Dublin Convention Centre on Saturday.

Many schools are staging their own science events to showcase the importance and fun in science. The idea is to make the discipline more accessible to children and prepare them for what they can expect in the junior and senior cycle. The importance of STEM subjects is also emphasised (science, technology, engineering and maths).

RTÉ One will show Growing Up Live, an insight into the extraordinary development of humans from birth to death, presented by Angela Scanlon from an anatomy museum in Dublin. It will air at 7pm nightly from Tuesday to Thursday.

Minister for Innovation Heather Humphreys said Science Week is an opportunity to shocase the “tremendous advancements in Ireland in recent years, with strides made in the technological and scientific spheres. In Ireland, we have some of the world’s top researchers and Science Week will allow the public the chance to discover the answers to the world around them.”

SFI director general Prof Mark Ferguson stressed Science Week’s aim in bringing science “to the fore of the public’s minds through fun, engaging and interactive events of interest to people of all ages”.

A full listing of events is at