New plaque to honour Mary Mulvihill at her former Dublin home

4 Nov 2021

Mary Mulvihill presents a guided tour in front of Oscar Wilde's statue in March 2014. Image: catherinecronin/Wikimedia Commons

Mary Mulvihill was a journalist, science communicator and well-known advocate for women in STEM.

The late science communicator Mary Mulvihill is set to be honoured with a new plaque at her former home in Stoneybatter, Dublin.

Irish radio broadcaster and reporter Leo Enright will unveil the plaque this Saturday (6 November) commemorating the life and work of Mulvihill, who died in 2015.

Future Human

She was a well-known advocate for increasing the participation of women in STEM subjects. In 1990, she founded and became the first chair of advocacy group Women in Technology and Science.

In addition to her journalism work to promote the importance of science, Mulvihill also published several books including Ingenious Ireland, which told stories of STEM throughout the country’s history.

“We celebrate Mary for her warmth and her humanity, but also for her passion. She was determined that Irish science should take its rightful place within Ireland’s national culture – it’s as much a part of the Irish cultural tradition as our poetry, our art and our music,” said Enright.

“She would have been utterly dismayed by the news that the Science Gallery at [Trinity College Dublin] faces closure and would have been the first to lead a campaign to save it!”

Legacy

The plaque on Manor Street, where Mulvihill lived up to her death, has been initiated and funded by the Mary Mulvihill Association with support from the National Committee for Commemorative Plaques in Science and Technology.

The committee has been responsible for the erection of more than 70 plaques around the country at the homes or workplaces of notable Irish scientists and engineers to commemorate their lives and contributions to science in Ireland.

In honour of Mulvihill, the Mary Mulvihill Association also hosts an annual science media competition for students enrolled in third-level institutions in Ireland. Currently in its sixth edition, the award is looking for its 2022 winner with submissions open for projects on the theme of water.

Earlier this year, Dublin City University (DCU) postgraduate student Eoin Murphy was declared the 2021 winner for his audio documentary examining the contrasting experiences of Ireland and Peru during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, DCU posthumously awarded Mulvihill its alumni award for outstanding achievement in the area of societal impact. “DCU was always proud that Mary was one of our alumnae,” said Prof Brian McCraith, who was DCU president at the time.

“She was an exceptionally gifted writer, broadcaster and journalist who used her talents to communicate the importance of science to a wide audience in Ireland and further afield.”

Mary Mulvihill. Image: catherinecronin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com