Dublin has been selected as host city for one of the world’s leading scientific events, the BA Festival of Science. The event will take place in Dublin City and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in September.
Visiting a different city each year, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) Festival of Science brings the public together with more than 300 key speakers and representatives from the world of science, engineering and technology to help foster a greater understanding of the value and significance of scientific endeavour.
It has been 48 years since the festival was last hosted in Ireland and some 3,000 people are expected to attend the festival in TCD, which takes place on 3-10 September. An estimated 7,000-plus people will gather to attend public talks and debates, take part in hands-on activities, observe demonstrations, join in visits or field trips and meet scientists.
In addition, there will be a host of events throughout the city as part of the Festival in the City programme.
The festival is organised by the BA and this year its main sponsors are the Department of Education and Science, TCD and the Discover Science and Engineering (DSE) programme, funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Speaking at the launch of the festival’s programme of activities in TCD, Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin TD, said: “The theme for this year’s BA Festival is Setting the Agenda for Science — something that will ring true for many people in Ireland, where the promotion of science and its benefits are very firmly on the national agenda. As Ireland continues its transition to a knowledge-based economy, so science, engineering and technology are becoming vital instruments in enterprise activity. The Government is fully committed to ensuring that Ireland maintains its economic prosperity and the National Development Plan has marked a decisive strategic shift in support for science, technology and innovation.”
A special programme for primary and secondary-school pupils will be run in tandem with the main festival programme. Schools from across the island of Ireland will participate in a range of events.
Peter Brabazon, programme director of DSE, said: “While much of the focus nationally and internationally has been on encouraging post-primary students to choose science, engineering and technology at third level, we are more conscious than ever of the need to interest young people in the sciences at the earliest possible stage in their learning cycle, be that primary or indeed pre-primary.”
For further information on the BA Festival of Science visit www.the-ba.net/festivalofscience.
By Brian Skelly