Throughout 2014, we have interviewed some of the leading lights in science and technology. Here are our selected highlights.
From young scientists to seasoned industry leaders and CEOs, to the inventor of the mobile phone, it has been an interesting and fulfilling year for Siliconrepublic.com’s roving reporters and AV team.
As we look forward to meeting more new faces with great stories to tell in 2015, we look back on the ones who left a mark on us this year, bringing you our top 10 must-watch video interviews in chronological order.
Jack Andraka, 17-year-old scientist and inventor
The scene was the 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in January 2014, and behind Jack Andraka 1,200 kids milled about, presenting their scientific and technological projects to 82 exacting judges.
In 2012, when he was just 15, Andraka won the US$75,000 Gordon E Moore Award, the grand prize of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, for developing a rapid and inexpensive method to detect an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer.
Prof Freeman Dyson, scientist, mathematician and philosopher
A spaceship was named after him in the iconic science-fiction show Star Trek and he is the inspiration behind Half Life computer-game character Gordon Freeman; the importance of Prof Freeman Dyson’s work and theories about space have given him iconic status.
Dyson visited Dublin in May to discuss a topic he is rather fascinated by: artificial intelligence. Before his talk on the subject with the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), entitled ‘Are Brains Analog or Digital?’, we asked him about some of the fascinating things he proposed during his 70 years of academic life.
Marty Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone
Ireland welcomed tech royalty to the inaugural EXCITED digital learning festival in June with the arrival of Marty Cooper, inventor of the first mobile phone. Cooper came to discuss the first-ever mobile call, which he conducted in 1973, and to speak with teachers, students and those passionate about implementing technology in education.
Julia Hartz, president and co-founder, Eventbrite
Julia Hartz came to Dublin in June to give a keynote address at Silicon Republic’s Female Founders Forum.
Hartz co-founded Eventbrite in 2006 along with her husband Kevin and CTO Renaud Visage. The company has processed more than US$2bn in ticket sales and growth accelerated to such an extent that, in 2013 alone, the company processed US$1bn in ticket sales.
Bethany Mayer, SVP and GM of Network Functions Virtualisation Business, HP
Bethany Mayer, HP’s senior vice-president and general manager of Network Functions Virtualisation Business, was in Dublin in July to address the Open Tech Ireland gathering on SDN technology.
Mayer is also in charge of HP’s US$2.5bn-a-year networking division, which, under her leadership, has grown through 17 consecutive quarters and holds the No 2 market share position.
Lionel Paillet, general manager for Europe, Nest Labs
In September, Nest’s smart-home products arrived in Ireland, as did GM for Europe Lionel Paillet, an ex-Apple executive who will be leading the charge for Nest across Europe.
To many people, what Paillet is talking about sounds magical and futuristic, but in reality it is all possible though wireless connectivity and APIs; the very sinews of what the internet of things is going to be all about.
Ben Wizner, director, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project and attorney for Edward Snowden
Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, also happens to be the attorney who represents former CIA contractor and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden is now living in exile in Moscow, but Wizner was free to visit Dublin in October to address the SECILE final conference. SECILE is an EU-wide body comprising academic, military and legal professionals focused on providing informed data and insight on the effectiveness of counter-terrorism legislation.
Google Science Fair winners Sophie Healy-Thow, Émer Hickey and Ciara Judge
Back in June, Silicon Republic gave 2013 BT Young Scientist winners Sophie Healy-Thow, Émer Hickey and Ciara Judge our Rising Stars award, and rise they did. They since went on to win top prize at the international Google Science Fair, and were named in Time magazine’s list of The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
On the back of these accolades, the three young innovators returned to the Digital Exchange in Dublin to address our Women Invent Meet-up in November.
Mark Castleman, entrepreneur-in-residence, Bell Labs
Bell Labs’ entrepreneur-in-residence Mark Castleman spoke with Siliconrepublic.com after November’s Innovation Ireland Forum in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, where he announced Ireland would be the first place in the world where Bell Labs will hold its Impact Series of IP mash-ups between universities and start-ups.
Wayne Chang, Crashlytics co-founder and global head of developer experience, Twitter
Though Wayne Chang couldn’t reveal the exact price paid for Crashlytics when we met at the 2014 Web Summit in Dublin, he did confirm that it was Twitter’s largest acquisition.
Chang co-founded Crashlytics in February 2011 with Jeff Seibert. At this point, nearing his thirties, it was the fourth company the serial entrepreneur had founded.