Archive for March, 2010

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.

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