Govt science adviser on Europe’s city of science (video)

30 Jan 2012

Professor Patrick Cunningham, chief scientific adviser to the Irish Government

With Dublin having now officially launched as the 2012 European City of Science, the Irish Government’s chief scientific adviser, Prof Patrick Cunningham, talks about how Dublin edged ahead of Vienna to glean the 2012 title, and its importance both for Ireland’s science economy and for highlighting innovation in Europe overall.

Speaking at the official launch of Dublin City of Science last week, Prof Patrick Cunningham recounted the genesis of the idea to pitch for Dublin to take the 2012 accolade, with the highlight of the year being the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2012) this coming July.

It was back in 2008 that Cunningham and a core project team of about 43 individuals decided to apply in the open competition to pitch for Dublin to play host to City of Science this year.

He recalled how the team went to present their case in Strasburg, and the eventual handing over of the title from Turin (City of Science 2010) to Dublin on the roof of the eponymous Fiat building in Strasburg.

As Cunningham explains in the video: “The field narrowed down to ourselves [Dublin] and Vienna … We later pleased to be told afterwards that a committee of 10 that evaluated City of Science had voted unanimously that Dublin’s got to do it!”

Cunningham also thanked the new Government for “believing in Dublin being City of Science and believing in its importance for Ireland”.

Industry support

He also spoke of the support that the imitative has been getting from industry players such as EirGrid, Intel and IBM and Jannsen. In addition he alluded to the help from entities such as the Irish Government, Forfás and Science Foundation Ireland and the European Union.

In July, ESOF 2012 will be held in Dublin. As well as three past Nobel prize winners, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, will also be speaking at the forum, at a critical time for Europe’s innovation economy.

Check out the video interview (part 1) here.
Government’s chief scientific adviser covers Dublin City of Science 2012

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic