Young Scientist: Most women do not like beards

Project by Roscommon students finds majority of women are not in favour of scruff

Do men grow beards because they are stylish or because they are too lazy to shave? Which ever option is true for you, be aware that your hirsute choice is not impressing most women.

Lennox Musa, James Costello and Damien Lach, transition-year students at Abbey Community College in Roscommon, embarked on their BT Young Scientist project to gauge the scruffy versus stylish aspects of having a beard after a class mate grew one.

They also decided to put beards to the acid test – whether women favoured or frowned on them.

The students surveyed women and bearded males in a nearby school in Roscommon.


The results were conclusive and showed once again why men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

About 60 per cent of men thought their beards were stylish, the students found, while 19 per cent of men said they grew beards because they were too lazy to shave.

Unfortunately, 69 per cent of women surveyed thought that they were dirty, although 28 per cent felt bearded men were handsome.

Adding male celebrities to the mix, with and without beards, did not shake women’s general dislike of beards.

In Wicklow, a student has come up with the latest technology to help keep plants healthy – an electronic nanny.

It does everything a human nanny would do, taking care of watering, light and ventilation without human intervention.

The project was about keeping plants healthy in a polytunnel, but most of the design work related to software development, said Donovan Webb (15), a third year at East Glendalough School in Wicklow.

He got the idea after a visit to Britain after he saw a polytunnel where the plants failed to thrive.

This got him thinking and he came up with his project – the Poly Nanny. He is now on his second prototype.

It takes complete care of the environment within the tunnel. It uses soil moisture sensors to gauge water demand and includes a rain sensor so soil does not get overwatered.

It also controls ventilation so it does not overheat or get too cold. The sensors are all wireless so the polytunnel can be monitored and controlled remotely from a laptop.

Dick Ahlstrom

Dick Ahlstrom

Dick Ahlstrom, a contributor to The Irish Times, is the newspaper's former Science Editor.