New Science on Screen Film Festival to have ‘join the conversation’ theme

Film-makers and researchers to feature critical topics including climate change and health research

Sixth class students Eoghan Ó Maoláin and Áine Nic Dheá from Gaelsoil Riabhach, Loughrea, Co Galway, who will chair the Ask a Scientist online panel discussion on Friday November 6th as part of the inaugural Science on Screen Film Festival Ireland. Photograph: Emilija Jefremova

Sixth class students Eoghan Ó Maoláin and Áine Nic Dheá from Gaelsoil Riabhach, Loughrea, Co Galway, who will chair the Ask a Scientist online panel discussion on Friday November 6th as part of the inaugural Science on Screen Film Festival Ireland. Photograph: Emilija Jefremova

 

An exciting way of delving deep into science and experiencing the reality of research endeavour comes in the form of the new Science on Screen Film Festival running from November 5th to 8th.

The free online festival will showcase the best of science in film and this year incorporates themes of representation and diversity in science and the value of art-science collaborations.

The festival tagline, “Join the conversation” invites audiences of all types to immerse themselves in scientific storytelling, hear from filmmakers and researchers on critical topics such as climate change and health research, and take the opportunity to question leading scientists on cutting-edge research.

The festival is hosted by Cúram, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based in NUI Galway, and Galway Film Centre which established the successful Science on Screen scheme in 2016.

The full programme will be announced at the end of October and will include science-themed feature films and short film programmes, as well as all of the original Science on Screen documentaries which tell the stories of patients living with chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s, diabetes and stroke recovery – and the Irish researchers working to improve their quality of life.

More than 200 primary school children from around Ireland have submitted their questions for the Ask A Scientist panel session, to be broadcast online on November 6th at 11am. The session will be chaired by two sixth class students from Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea, Co Galway, who will put the questions to a panel of three top researchers in biological, engineering and environmental sciences.

Groundswell

The opening feature for the festival called “Picture a Scientist” will be hosted as part of the Science Foundation Ireland’s annual summit. It chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins; chemist Raychelle Burks and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights.

From cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, scientific luminaries – including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists – who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. The film will be followed by a panel discussion on representation and diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).

Cúram scientific director Prof Abhay Pandit said: “We are very proud to be launching the first Science on Screen Film Festival this year. Ireland really is a nation of scientists and storytellers, something that has been illustrated particularly well through the award-winning documentaries produced through the Science on Screen programme in recent years.”

Galway Film Centre manager Alan Duggan said: “We are delighted to be launching Ireland’s first Science Film Festival in partnership with Cúram. Building on the success of the Science on Screen documentaries, which have reached an audience of over one million worldwide, the festival will showcase the engaging and thought provoking content that is born from collaboration between our industries.”

At a time when reliance on accurate and sensitive portrayal of scientific facts and research was more important than ever, “there is no better moment to ask audiences to join the conversation”, he added.

Further information on the film programme, speakers and themes will be released on the Festival website at the end of October at www.curamdevicesengage.ie