“Science will be key to rebuilding our new economy”, that’s according to Ruairi Quinn, TD, Ireland’s Education and Skills Minister, who gave a video interview with Siliconrepublic.com at the 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSE) last Friday evening.
After it was announced that two 17-year-olds, Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle, from Dublin City’s Synge Street CBS had won the top prize at the 2012 BTYSE for the algorithm they devised that could potentially revolutionise space travel, Quinn was busy speaking to some of the students about their projects, but I managed to catch up with him for a few minutes to get his views on science.
Quinn spoke about how people are more familiar with Ireland’s great literary tradition, but he said they are not as aware of the scientific tradition, which is specifically Irish.
He commended Michael John Gorman, who is leading the Science Gallery in Dublin for his role in "popularising" and "accessing science".
The new economy
"Science is the key part of where we go when we rebuild our economy and when we come out of receivership," said Quinn.
He also said he saw the "incredible potential for the cross-fertilisation of scientific methodology and exploration and food production".
Quinn spoke about the career opportunities science will offer students, as well as making science more accessible for post-doctorate researchers who are often on short-term contracts at the minute.
Commercialising scientific research is another important factor, he indicated.
Watch the video here.