Irene Fogarty named winner of inaugural Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award

18 May 2017

Image: lokman hakim/Shutterstock

UCD student Irene Fogarty has been named as the winner of the inaugural Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award, for her project on indigenous women researching climate change mitigation.

Following the tragic loss of journalist Mary Mulvihill in 2015, her legacy continued with the creation of an award for the country’s best science communicator.

Revealed in November of last year, the Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award was set up by the family and friends of the late journalist to honour her contribution to science and heritage.

Future Human

So, it was after much deliberation from the judges – including Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea – that the winner of the first award was named as University College Dublin student Irene Fogarty, nabbing a €2,000 prize.

Following the theme of this year’s competition – women’s contribution to science and technology – Fogarty’s submission looked at the contribution of indigenous women to scientific research on climate change mitigation.

“I am absolutely thrilled to receive the Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award,” Fogarty said on her win.

“Climate change mitigation is a passion of mine and, in memory of Mary, I will be donating half of my prize money to the UN Fund for Gender Equality, which supports indigenous women.”

Commenting on the winning entry, judge and sister of Mary, Anne Mulvihill, said: “Irene Fogarty’s entry ticked all of the boxes. It was well written and presented, clear and informative; it shared the stories of the contribution to science made by groups of indigenous women. Mary would have enjoyed her piece.”

Runners-up also named

Two other entrants also received recognition from the judges, including Adeleh Mohammadi, an Iranian-born PhD engineering student from NUI Galway.

Based on a quote from an article by Mulvihill about how psychologists say the stories we tell ourselves have a profound impact on our lives, Mohammadi crafted an essay that placed her future self at centre stage, 50 years from now.

Meanwhile, Dublin City University’s Anne Burke – currently studying for an MSc in science communication – was also named runner-up for her project on gender representation in science and technology.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic