European Researchers’ Night in Galway attracts science-curious public to Sea2Sky events

2 Oct 2012

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Young stargazer at Sea2Sky

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Galway has celebrated the research festival Sea2Sky to mark European Researchers’ Night, with around 10,000 people attending events around the city to mingle with astronomers, marine scientists and physicists.

European Researchers’ Night itself took place in 320 cities across Europe. The idea of the free events was to get people to take part in experiments and to watch demonstrations and talk to researchers.

NUI Galway organised Sea2Sky in Ireland for the second year in a row. The free day-long event last Friday also received support from the Marine Institute, Galway Atlantaquaria and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, with events taking place at all of these locations.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, opened the festival. She talked about how events like Sea2Sky open up the world of science to the general public and especially to young people.

"Europe needs to attract more young people into careers as researchers to stay ahead of the game in research and to tackle the biggest issues of our time, such as energy, climate change and our ageing population," said Geoghegan-Quinn on the night.

In Galway, visitors to Sea2Sky got to experience the ‘Accelerating Science’ exhibition in Leisureland, while Galway Atlantaquaria was also open for free to the public.

Local scuba divers gave an exhibition in the aquarium, while the Marine Institute showcased its remote operated vehicle that’s used in deep-water research.

And for stargazers, Galway Astronomy Club also had telescopes to view the night sky.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, engages with young visitors at Sea2Sky on 28 September last in Galway. Also pictured is NUI Galway's Dr Andy Shearer

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, engages with young visitors at Sea2Sky on 28 September in Galway. Also pictured is NUI Galway’s Dr Andy Shearer

Dr Andrew Shearer, a lecturer in physics at NUI Galway, who was the main organiser of Sea2Sky, said the event saw astronomers, marine scientists and atmospheric physicists engage with the public.

"One of the highlights was the Café Scientifique linking Galway, Cork and NASA astronaut Dan Tani in the US," he said.

Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

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