Welcoming back the Dead Zoo. Geometry, art and crochet. Science apps from the Frog Blog.  The Burren is in Bloom. And much more as always, including a packed calendar of events.



We like…

The Dead Zoo… alive again: great to welcome back the Natural History Museum (tho’ the upper galleries remain closed).  Looking cleaner than ever, and with a new programme of talks and tours, including one on the ill-fated golden eagle reintroduction project, May 20.

Irish Historic Towns Atlas Seminar: the RIA’s historic towns atlases are wonderful publications, everything from health, demographics and urban change to manufacturing. The Limerick and Longford atlases will be launched at this free seminar, May 21, RIA Dublin

Catch the city of science bus:  Are you interested in science, or science communication? At college? Over 20? Got four weeks free for travelling? In the run-up to Dublin City of Science 2012, the organisers are running a bus to this year’s science city, Turin.  All-expenses-paid, closing date May 12.
Creative Geometry:  exploring the connections between geometry and art, architecture and nature, in two half-day workshops for children, families and teachers. 16th May, Cultivate, Dublin

From Mathematics to Art: more geometry…Cornell mathematician and crochet maestro Daina Taimnia, who inspired the hyperbolic crochet coral reef, is talking in Dublin June 2.

The story and history of science: great new six-part series from BBC 2 on the history of science, on Tuesdays at 9pm. Tonight’s programme (May 4) on matter, travels from alchemists and their search for gold, to synthetic dyes and the transistor. Recommended.

Communicating Science conference 2010: 4th annual Irish conference in communicating science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Armagh Planetarium May 13. If you’re interested in this topic, and are on LinkedIn, you might like to know about the new group there, Science Communicators Ireland.

Photography competition… weather permitting: last year’s winner of the Irish Met Society competition, went on to win the European competition.  Now it’s your turn, closing date September 30.

Industrial heritage on the Suir: Explore the 18th and 19th century milling and industrial heritage of Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir, including the towpath built in the 1750s to link the two prosperous towns. Two-day tour, Industrial Heritage Association, May 22-23. €40

Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art: stunning new exhibition at London’s British Library with 80 of the most important and beautiful maps ever made over the last 2000 years.  Explore it online here, runs until September 19, with a programme of talks and events.

Storytelling, for entrepreneurs:    She who tells the best story wins.  Now comes a 3-hour workshop to explore how storytelling can be used in media, publishing, social media, education, video games… that’s the idea behind Idea Hacking. The first workshop starts at 5.30 pm in Derry, June 3. Adm free.

Science & technology at the edge of Europehistory of science conference on developments at the periphery of Europe, NUI Galway, June 17-20

Smarter travel: a one-day seminar organised by Engineers Ireland, on transport, national policy and cycling. May 5, Dublin. Plus, a public lecture on the sociology of building a cycling culture, May 20, TCD.

A is for Appendages: young Mad Scientist Alphabet Blocks from Xylocopa. Laser-etched with mad science concepts. Every home should have some!

MetaMeets: your chance to hear Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon,  who is a virtual speaker at the annual European 3D conference for developers and users of virtual environments.  DIT Dublin, May 7-8 http://www.metameets2010.com/

Cork science takes off: the wonderful Blackrock Castle Observatory just outside Cork, by the coast, has become quite a busy science/art venue, and much more than an astronomy centre, with a restaurant, music, science cafe, and even movies by moonlight (this month’s screening is Blade Runner, the final cut, May 29). Definitely worth a visit if you are Lee-side.

The gentians are out… and the Burren is in bloom: the good folk at Burrenbeo tell us that the gentians are out now, and a month-long festival of Burren walks and talks is taking place, around Ballyvaughan. Expect: wildflowers, limestone, bumblebees, disappearing lakes, dolphins, moths and music.

Human Machine Improvisations:  part performance, part exploration of socio-musical technologies and (we quote) “ironic sci-fi parody”…the debut of two  machine musicians, io 0.0.1 beta++ and iWife constructed by Han-earl Park and John Godfrey respectively. BCO Cork  May 26

The Frog Blog’s science apps: the excellent frog blog, from the science team at St Columba’s School, is recommending several educational science apps, including the Touch Physics game ( you need to know your levers and forces) and Speed Anatomy.  The blog, which has been tweeting for a while, is now ‘frogcasting’ [croaking, surely?] in the run-up to the exam season.

Butterflies wanted: or at least, volunteers to collect and count, for a butterfly monitoring scheme. Training workshop, May 15, Fota, Cork.


Calendar of events…

All month: The Burren is in Bloom festival, Co Clare

Marine Month of Madness, talks, walks, dives and more, Galway

May 5, Smarter travel, seminar, Engineers Ireland

May 6 The Fight Against Viruses, debate 6pm, Science Gallery TCD

May 6 E-cars: Transforming transport, 6pm RDS, Dublin

May 7 Transforming Ireland 2010 Seminar, 12:30pm, Dublin

May 7-8 MetaMeets, DIT Dublin

May 7 Viral Infections: Past, Present and Future, 6pm, Science Gallery, TCD

May 7 Cork Science Café: nanotech, 7pm, Blackrock Castle Observatory

May 10 Marine Biodiversity, RIA Lecture, NUI Galway, 5pm

May 13 Communicating science conference, Armagh

May 13 Did we really land on the moon? talk, 8pm Armagh

May 13 Bat Walk, 9.15pm, Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve, Enniskerry.

May 16 Creative geometry, half-day workshops, Dublin

May16 Dawn Chorus, 5am, Information Office, Upper Lake, Glendalough, Wicklow

May 18  Virtual worlds for mechanobiology research, Alchemist Cafe, Dublin 7.30pm

May 19  From Earth to Sky, Armagh Heritage day, 10am-4pm, Navan Fort

May 20 Golden Eagle Re-introduction, talk 1pm, Natural History Museum, Dublin

May 20, Building a Cycling Culture, talk, 7.30pm TCD

May 20 Cancer treatment & immune system, talk 7pm RDS Dublin

May 21 Historic Towns Atlas seminar, RIA Dublin

May 22 International Day of Biodiversity, walks & talks, Botanic Gardens

May 22-23, Industrial Heritage tour, Clonmel & Carrick-on-Suir

May 26 Human Machine Improvisations, BCO Cork

May 29 Movies by Moonlight, BCO Cork

June 2 Mathematics to art, talk, Dublin

June 3 Idea Hacking: Storytelling, Creative ARC, Derry

June 17-20 History of science & technology conference, Galway


Vote for Ireland’s greatest scientist. The circus comes to science.  Geometry meets crochet.  The history of diet and digestion. And join me for a talk about some torch-bearing Irish women astronomers.


We like . . .

Vote for a great scientist! as a prelude to a new prime-time documentary series in the autumn, RTE is asking people to vote for the greatest Irish  person ever. But their short-list of 40 candidates includes not one scientist or engineer. So I’m organising an alternative campaign, and the good people at Science.ie have come on board.  We’ve suggested some historic Irish scientists to get you started, or you can nominate someone you think merits the title of Greatest Irish Person.   So, y’all get on over there now, and start voting.  And spread the word!

Geometry meets crochet:

It’s surely one of the wonders of the world — not the Great Barrier Reef, but the hyperbolic crochet version now on display at the Science Gallery, created and curated by Australian sisters Christine and Margaret Wertheim, of the Institute for Figuring.    An amazing work of craft, that draws attention to the impact of climate change and plastic waste. Until June.

Circus scientifico: prepare to be amazed and enthralled as the mysteries of science are explored through the elements of circus in an evening of illusion and aerial dance. Blackrock Castle Observatory this Easter Saturday, April 3, 10pm till late.

Genes, breast cancer and personal medicine:  a public talk by Prof Mary-Claire King, who discovered the first gene associated with breast cancer (BRCA1). Renowned for her work on breast cancer genetics, she has also worked with Amnesty International, using genetics to trace the “disappeared” in many countries.  In Dublin to receive the Dawson Prize in genetics, she will give a public talk on Web April 7, 7pm, TCD. Adm free, all welcome.

Lab coats and lace: join me for a talk on the lives and legacies of some pioneering Irishwomen, including solar eclipse expert Mrs Annie Maunder ( 1868-1947), physicist and inventor Alice Everett (1865-1949), and  Mrs Anne Jellicoe, who founded the first vocational training college for women in Ireland or Britain at Dublin in 1861.  RDS, April 28 6pm, followed by refreshments. Adm free, all welcome.

History, digestion and society: hunger strikes, forensic stomach analysis, food shortages, the temperance movement… it promises to be a fascinating two-day conference at the Centre for the history of medicine, UCD.  April 30-may 1.  Adm free.

Galaxies that changed our view of the Universe: it all began in Birr, Co Offaly, in 1845, with the world’s largest telescope, and the discovery of a spiral nebula. Today, studies of nebulae and galaxies are helping us understand how the universe formed and evolved.  DIAS public lecture by Prof Ronald J Buta (University of Alabama), Dunsink Observatory, Dublin.  Saturday, April 17.  Booking essential: hod@cp.dias.ie

How many friends does one person need? Should you suspect someone who has more than 150 friends on Facebook? The Science Gallery bookclub discusses the latest book by anthropologist Robin Dunbar. Adm €5 April 30, 6.30pm

From trash to cash — sustainable innovation:  “rethink recycle remake”. One-day forum  on sustainability and design and recycled products. Dublin, April 27.

20/20 Vision:  what will the world look like in the year 2020? that’s the question for a symposium exploring ideas for the future on Wed April 14, part of TCD’s week-long Trinity Week Festival April 12-18.  Other events include a scavenger hunt, talks and exhibitions.

World astronomy month: the days are getting longer, but there’s still time to look at the heavens.  Events taking place around the country include talks, star parties and exhibitions, and a Cosmic Star party in Tullamore (April 9-11)

Calendar of events:

April 3, Circo Scientifico, 10pm, Cork

April 7, Genetics and breast cancer, TCD & WITS talk, 7pm Dublin

April 9,   Harnessing biomass energy, Transforming Ireland seminar, 12.30 Dublin

April 10-11, Orchid fair, National Botanic Gardens, Dublin

April 12, Mercury — new insights, Astronomy Ireland lecture, 8pm Dublin

April 13, Spirit of Ireland project, seminar, 6.30pm Tralee

April 14, Ignite #4, 8pm Dublin

April 14, National Digital Learning Resource, AGM, Dublin

April 14, 20/20 Vision symposium, TCD

April 14, The flora of Ireland’s bogs and eskers, National Botanic Gardens talk, 3pm Dublin

April 17, Dunsink Observatory talk, 8pm Dublin

April 27, Science Speak, public talks & competition 7pm RDS

April 27, Sustainable Innovation Forum, Dublin

April 28, Lab coats and lace, talk, RDS 6pm

April 30-May 1, History of digestion, conference, UCD

Several new books, and a free audio book.  Grants for new lectures, and fellowships for women scientists.  Remarkable trees and a free walking tour.  And much more besides in this Mars & March edition.


We like . . .

A social & industrial voyage:  Dublin’s docklands are over 200 years old, built in phases from the 1700s, as land was reclaimed from the sea and put to use first for industrial and maritime enterprises, and increasingly over the years for homes, and now cultural ventures — with the opening this year of the new conference centre and dockland theatre.  All this history has been brought together in a lovely new book, commissioned by the Docklands Authority, and compiled by writer and historian Turtle Bunbury. Richly illustrated, with maps and something of a gazetteer in addition to the stories of industrial and social heritage, my only criticism is the absence of an index, which is a shame in such a big book. 250pp hbk €30

The Manga Guide to Calculus: with all the talk lately about the need to encourage more students and especially girls into mathematics, we like this ‘novel’ approach, borrowing from Japanese graphic novel genre. InThe Manga Guide to Calculus’ follow an aspiring reporter as she discovers that hard-hitting journalism requires more mathematical know-how that she has, and along the way learns about calculus, Taylor expansions and more.  Geek girl review here.  Follows from the very successful ‘Manga Guide to Physics’, where a young woman athlete has to draw on classical mechanics to improve her game.

The pop-up guide to the LHC:  we love pop-up books, or ‘paper engineering’ as us geeks like to call it.  Among the latest is a guide to the Atlas experiment at CERN, which accelerates protons at nearly the speed of light to recreate the conditions that existed at the time of the Big Bang.  There is a huge amount of ‘engineering’  in this big 8-page book, with lots of side panels and pop-ups and background information. Probably best for a Leaving Cert physics class, as you’ll need some familiarity with the physics to get most out of this lavish publication.  Papadakis Books, hbk £20

Free audio book! Heroines of science: from Hypatia of Alexandra, the fifth century mathematician, to Nobel laureate Dorothy Hodgkin in the 20th century… just two of the 40 historic women scientists profiled in a new publication and accompanying audio book from the EC’s  DG for Research.  Download the free PDF and audio version here.

Artists — secret mathematicians:  how mathematics has underpinned the work of writers, painters and composers such as Borges, Dali and Messiaen, explored in a Royal Society lecture by Prof Marcus du Sautoy ( Oxford), which you can watch here, along with other Royal Society events during this its 350th year.

Maths functions and photos: spot the graph, in this image by maths-photographer Nikki Graziano, who sees form and function everywhere. Featured in Wired magazine, Graziano, a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, overlays graphs and their equations onto her carefully composed photos.  See more of her elegant ‘Found Functions’ at Nikkigraziano.com.

SPINning in digital format: the spring edition of the Irish science magazine, SPIN, is out now and you can read it online for free in digital format here.


Want money to develop a lecture? The RDS is again offering bursaries to anyone who would like to develop a demonstration lecture for school audiences.  Designed to encourage people to explore new ways of presenting science.  Closing date: Friday, April 9

Fellowships for women scientists: four postdoctoral fellowships each worth £15k  are being offered by L’Oreal UK and Ireland to outstanding women researchers at any UK or Irish research institute. Closing date April 7.  “Because we’re worth it!”

What’s on

Igniting Dublin: Expect sparks on Thursday, March 11 when a diverse panel of some 16 speakers take to the stage for this third Ignite Dublin event, giving five-minute presentations on science, technology art and society.  Everything from neuroscience,  the Evolvophone, the power of symmetry and the national leprechaun Museum. €10

Remarkable trees of Glasnevin:   special free guided tour for National Tree Week exploring some of the most beautiful specimens at the National Botanic Gardens. Sunday 7th March, 2.30pm. One of many tours and talks at the gardens this month.

FREE! Audio tour of TCD: Join me for a guided walk through Trinity College, Dublin’s rich scientific heritage. Visit little-known gems, and some hidden heritage. The self-guided podcast trail takes about 90 minutes. More information and the map and audio files here.

The Month of Mars: March, named for the red planet Mars… appropriately the subject for this month’s Astronomy Ireland lecture, by Mars expert and IT

Free star parties: the Irish Astronomical Society invites you to their series of public open nights this month —  Wicklow Mountains National Park (March 6th),  Sandymount Martello Tower (March  19th) and Bray sea front (March 20th). All are 8pm-10pm, all welcome, free.

Movies by Moonlight: one of the many lovely events at The excellent Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, this month’s film club screening is ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, with telescope observing in the courtyard before and after.  Saturday, March 27, 6:30 pm, booking advised.  Other events include ‘First Friday’ family events and space crafts.

Weather & climate: a good line-up of speakers for the Met Society conference on climate and weather. ( Climate, Mark Twain once explained, it’s what you expect — weather, is what you get.)  Botanic Gardens, Saturday, March 27, free, all welcome.

Antimatter: from imagination to application —  Touring lecture organised by the Institute of Physics in Ireland, given by Prof Mike Charlton (Swansea University) visiting universities in Cork, Galway and Dublin March 8-12.  Details here.

Diamonds, geology and Ireland: could there be diamonds in Ireland? Find out, in this Irish Geological Association lecture by Barry Long, Dublin Wed March 31 8pm (tea/coffee 7:30pm).

Love is in the air: the science of desire — the Love Lab exhibition and events —  continues at the Science Gallery until March 12.

RECOMMENDED — ‘Make Night‘: the idea is simple… get along to the Science Gallery and make anything you want, in the company of other ‘makers’.  Recent ‘makes’  included creative from robots to large paper balloons and even  crochet coral.  Hosted by the Irish Robotics Club, next one is March 31, 6pm, Dublin, Free.

Protecting Dublin from floods: how to protect this low-lying city from coastal flooding? Tony Maguire of Dublin City Council talks about Flood forecasting and monitoring TCD  Thurs March 4, 7:30 p.m.  Irish Met Society, Free.

Technology and the decline of intimacy: a series of panel debates ‘Celebrating Thinking’, hosted by the RIA, explores the issues surrounding reality TV, surveillance and privacy on March 23, Dublin.

WMD & your immune system:  a morning of immunology lectures for school students explaining how our body seeks and destroys invaders.  RDS Dublin  Friday, March 12.


For more popular science events, check out the many links on our other page here.

For more science and innovation events, check out Mary’s Technology Ireland events calendar here.

We try to ensure links are valid when we go to press• but can’t be responsible for other websites.

Know of something scientific — or related — happening in Ireland over the next month or so?

Conferences, debates, books, screenings, experiments . . . ?

Drop an e-mail to science.culture bulletin at sign Gmail dot com with short details of what, who, when and where.

The bulletin is back, after a winter respite, and normal service resumes shortly, bringing you the regular interesting and eclectic roundup of what’s happening in popular science around the country.

So get those details in, by February 17.

Solstice:  standing still


The bulletin is taking an end-of-year break . . . but in the interim, I’d love to hear from you about the kind of service you would like to see (you can use the comment form below).

When Science@Culture started over a decade ago, there were few popular science events of any kind in Ireland.  Happily, there is now a busy schedule.

In a way, that means there’s even more need for a bulletin than ever, to bring all the news together in one space. And the hundreds of you who subscribe to the bulletin presumably agree.

But it also takes considerable time and effort to pull all the information together, and that’s become unsustainable.  Hence the break, as I review the options.

And in the meantime, Yuletide greetings  — let’s celebrate that ancient pagan midwinter festival — and all the best for 2010.

Mary Mulvihill

Remembering Darwin, one-minute films to save the world, a packed Science Week, a pop-up LHC, a conference on the history of digestion . . . and join me for a ‘Green Drink’  or a science week talk.


Check out the comments (below) for late additions.



Under a Grey Sky: rain-soaked and industrialised Irish boglands as you’ve never seen them, in a new exhibition of work by Irish photographer Simon Burch, at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin, until November 15.

One minute to save the world:

If you had one minute,  what would you say? That’s the challenge of a film competition currently being run by the Guardian newspaper.  And here is Co Carlow-based eco-artist (and former scientist), Cathy FitzGerald‘s evocative response to the challenge, and to the havoc being caused to small islands by rising sea levels.  Vote for your favourite film here, closing date Friday, November 6.

Green drinksWant to save time and money? Then join me this Tuesday evening, November 3, when I’ll be sharing some science-based tips and techniques that are easy to do and will help you make great savings.  The event is this month’s Green Drinks, an informal and very friendly gathering where people can meet and share ideas.  Every first Tuesday, Science Gallery, 6-8pm, adm free. Plus, 10% off the cover price of Drive like a Woman, Shop like a Man.

Defusing design:  fear and loathing, and bad design on Dublin’s streets — just one of the topics tomorrow night, when 12 Irish design experts present 5-minute illustrated talks  about ‘design for use’ or Defuse. Sugar Club, Dublin, Nov 3rd.



Your event not listed here? Use the comment facility (at the bottom of this edition) to post a short note and a link to your event. And help us keep the bulletin up-to-date.


Remembering Dr Ada English: for four decades psychiatrist Dr Adeline English was medical superintendent at Ballinasloe district lunatic asylum.  Consultant psychiatrist Brendan Kelly, who is researching her life and work, will talkabout this revolutionary Irishwoman — she was one of six women elected in 1921 to the second Dáil —  at Ballinasloe Library, November 3rd, 8pm.

Cattle: cause or cure for climate crisis? Feasta’s annual lecture, will be given by award-winning Allan Savory, a Zimbabwean biologist and farmer. November 7th, 2.30pm, TCD.

Broadcasting authority positions: Wanted: people with expertise in science, technology or environmental matters to serve on the boards of  the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, and RTE. Expressions of interest now being sought. Closing date: Nov 12.  Five-year term. More info here.

The sceptical economist: Expect a provocative evening when David McWilliams, currently promoting his latest book: ‘Follow the Money “, gives the Irish Sceptics November talk. November 10, 8pm, Dublin.

Memory matters and our plastic brains: how our memories are crucial for both survival and creativity. UCD biochemist Prof Ciaran Regan is the guest speaker for this month’s Alchemist Cafe.  November 10, 7.30pm, adm free. Dublin

Science Week: another packed programme this year November 8-15, with something for everyone around the country.  Including yours truly, will be giving talks at some of the Dublin libraries on how a little science can help us to live a little more sustainably.  Check out events near you, here.

Herodotus-Aristarchus-Valli$20copyMoon News: marking the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing in 1969, and International Year of Astronomy, artist and astronomer Deirdre Kelleghan will be looking back at Apollo 11, and forward to future trips to the moon. Raheny library, November 9, 6.30pm.

Cork Discovery Week: a week of hands-on events for the public and school groups, with events around Cork city November 14-18.

Why it’s great being a scientist:  Prof Luke O’Neill is always worth listening to — and on November 16, he’ll give a special  talk, linking immunology, Charles Darwin and cartoonist Gary Larson, on foot of  winning this year’s RDS Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence. RDS, all welcome, booking essential.

Brewing, biology and the black stuff: marking 250 years of Arthur Guinness, a talk by Guinness microbiologist Edward J Bourke, who has an interest in industrial and maritime history.  8pm Wednesday 18 November, Lismullin Conference Centre, Navan Co Meath. €5, incl Refreshments.

Who are the Irish? TCD geneticist Dan Bradley, who has studied the genetic origins of the Irish people, gives one of the current series of RIA library lunchtime lectures, Thursday, November 19, 1pm, Dublin.

the_screamSuffering, torment and art: in association with the exhibition of Munch Prints at the National Gallery, a lecture organised by the Centre for the History of Medicine, and given by Dr Dieter Buchhart, Director, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria. November 19, 6.30pm, National Gallery.  Still on Munch: check out the 1895 self-portrait in the exhibition, and tell me if that wasn’t influenced by the discovery of x-rays that year!

The cooler side of global warming: the provocative title of an evening talk for the Irish Met Society by physicist Dr Frank Mulligan (NUIM), Nov 26th, 7:30pm TCD.

Remembering Darwin: several events take place this month, on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species, including What next for nature?, a lecture in the RDS by Jonathan Silvertown (Open University), on Tuesday, November 24, 7 p.m.  And what promises to be a fascinating one-day seminar organised by the Natural History Museum Saturday 28, Dublin. More Darwin events here.

History, Digestion and Society: from hunger strikes, to the development of frozen and processed foods, our understanding of nutrition and digestive diseases, even criminal poisoning.  Some possible topics for a conference next year at UCD 30 April – 1 May 2010.  Interested?  Closing date for abstracts is November 30.  E-mail: ian.miller2@ucd.ie

Leviathan goes scientific:  We are expecting the popular Leviathan political cabaret to tackle science this month (Science Gallery, November 25), but no details yet on their website. Check this space for details.

pop-up LHCPop-up guide to the LHC: now, you can have your very own large hadron collider, thanks to some ingenious ‘paper engineering’.  This week sees publication of a pop-up guide to the CERN experiment — the real experiment is also expected to restart later this month. The 20-page Voyage to the Heart of the Matter (Papadakis, 2009) costs £20.

Up with 3D ageing! the latest Disney/Pixar 3D film, UP, gets an unlikely thumbs up from Dublin consultant geriatrician, Prof Des O’Neill, who recommends it as a remarkable study of ageing, writing in the British Medical Journal here.

Introducing the Evolvaphone! Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species…’, composer George Higgs and geneticist Aoife Mclysaght bring you a new booth that will compose music from your identity in accordance with the laws of natural selection! From November 24th, at TCD’ s Science Gallery.  The What If exhibition continues at the gallery until December 13.

SPIN goes digital: the monthly Irish science magazine, Science SPIN, is now available in in a digital online version.

Yet more events . . . Check any comments below, for extra events, and these links here.

Including: Crochet coral, catch ‘The End of the Line’, see Force Majeure, take a maths walk and . . .  join me in Carlow.


reef1How to crochet a coral reef:  Australian twin sisters, Christine and Margaret Wertheim, combined their interests in mathematics, art, coral reefs, feminine handcrafts and environmental activism . . . and produced a stunning crochet coral reef.  Now joined by thousands of other crafty folk around the world to knot a great barrier reef. Starts in Dublin on Saturday, October 24 with a workshop in the Science Gallery.  Not to be missed.

Force Majeure:  ‘Science is meant for the progression of man’, wrote Jules Verne (20,000 leagues under the Sea), ‘but using science for evil can also lead to the downfall of men. There is conflict between man versus nature.’ . . .  A tension explored in a new programme of events at The LAB, the excellent Dublin City Council’s art space in Foley St, which includes the Grafting Parlour collective of artists, scientists and researchers. Until October 24th.  Also, an art and astronomy exhibition:  I See a Darkness II, until Oct 24th.

Innovative Dublin: the week-long festival of Innovation continues .  Check out the wide range of excellent events here, which include a conference on nanotechnology and responsible development tomorrow, Friday, and a ‘study of old library dust’ (SOLD) at TCD.

Maths . . . on the street, and in the pub: this is also Maths week, now in its fourth year and going from strength to strength. Plus, the forecast is good for tomorrow afternoon’s annual quaternion walk, from Dunsink Observatory to Broom Bridge; booking: Fiacre.OCairbre@nuim.ie

Nothing to eat but jellyfish: if we continue to destroy fish stocks, there will be nothing left in the seas to eat but jellyfish.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Catch the excellent documentary film, The End of the Line, on More4, Tuesday October 20, 10pm.  It will change what you eat.

Science at the edge: next June, Galway will host a major conference on science and technology at the European periphery (STEP). Themes will include: science and national identity, popularising science at the periphery, and women in science. The deadline for submitting a short proposal is October 23.

atomwebCatch a carbon atom: these ethereal images of the electron clouds (blue) as they orbit the nucleus of a carbon atom. Taken by scientists at the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology, Ukraine, and deservedly image of the day at New Scientist recently.

Health, science and sustainability: if you’re near Carlow next Wednesday evening, October 21, drop into the health and environment exhibition and talks, at the Seven Oaks hotel, from 7pm.  I’ll be talking later in the evening, on health, science and sustainability, but beware, as my talk comes with a health warning: I promise to mess with your brain, and to eat deodorant! (All based on the tips on my latest book: Drive like a Woman, Shop like a Man.)

Can this man predict the future? next week, you can meet games  theorist, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, aka the Predictioneer, when he comes to Dublin for a special event at the Science Gallery, which includes an interactive experiment. A consultant to the CIA,  he built a computer model that he claims can predict the outcomes of international conflicts with 90% accuracy.  A report about his claims generated some controversy on the Guardian recently, here.


More events:

* Geology of Avoca mine, field trip, October Saturday 24

* What if? exhibition, Science Gallery, Dublin

* Astronomy open nights, NUI Galway Observatory:  3rd Wednesday of each month, plus public talks on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.

* Why Are We Here?, Armagh Observatory talk, Thurs October 22,  8pm

*Galilean star party & Cork jazzBlackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, Sat Oct 24th

* For Peat’s Sake: Bogs and Climate Change, EPA talk,  Tues 27th October, 6.30pm, Dublin

* Climate Change and the Developing World, Met Society talk, Thurs 29th Oct 8pm, Dublin

* RDS Science Live demonstration talks for Junior and leaving certificate classes, now on, Dublin


And check for yet more events here