From pregnancy yoga to brain poking: The best of Researchfest 2019

13 Nov 2019

Researchfest 2019 participants prior to taking to the stage. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Only one winner could be announced at Researchfest 2019, but seven other projects just missed out on the top prize.

If you are a researcher and you had three minutes to explain your work, what would you say? That’s the challenge set to the participants of Researchfest.

As part of Inspirefest, the competition was established as a way to bring in the research community to not only boost the visibility of some lesser-known research, but also help promote greater science communication in academia.

Future Human

Last year was no exception as eight researchers from across Ireland and abroad took to the stage, with some of the country’s leading figures in academia there to judge their research.

The judges included Prof Christine Loscher, associate dean for research at the School of Biotechnology in Dublin City University (DCU); Julie Byrne, head of external collaborations at Nokia Bell Labs; Ken Finnegan, CEO of Tangent; and Prof Arlene Gallagher, director of the Trinity Walton Club, assistant professor at the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Physics, and coordinator of the annual event.

The eventual winner was revealed as DCU’s Debbie O’Reilly for her work on the search for potential cures for prostate cancer using common drugs that could be found in medicine cabinets in our own homes.

Although there could only be one winner, there were seven other great researchers in the running for the grand prize. For Science Week, we are taking a look back at some of the highlights of those other presentations you might have missed.

In the meantime, it’s worth noting that last month some big changes were announced for Inspirefest following its fifth anniversary. Starting from 2020, Silicon Republic’s annual event will be called Future Human.

“While there will be no future editions of Inspirefest, we’re extremely excited about the birth of Future Human, an exciting sci-tech event with the same core tenets for which we are renowned: meaning, values and purpose. We’ll be showcasing the people and projects shaping the next phase of human existence,” said Future Human curator and Silicon Republic CEO Ann O’Dea at the launch event.

As for Researchfest, the Future Human team has confirmed that it will return for the 2020 event, so stay tuned for future updates on how to apply.

Future Human is Silicon Republic’s international technology, science and business event celebrating meaning, values and purpose with collaborative, interactive and hands-on experiences. Super Early Bird tickets for Future Human 2020 are available now.

Editor’s note: Please note that Future Human 2020 has been rescheduled to take place on 29 and 30 October 2020. More details can be found here.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic