Science Review 2012 – Top 100 science stories: Nos 95-91

26 Nov 2012

John Power, director-general, Engineers Ireland, with Ireland's Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD

We continue our countdown of Ireland’s top science and innovation stories of 2012. It was the year Dublin became the European City of Science and major scientific breakthroughs occurred in every field.

During four days in July, international scientists, policy-makers and business leaders, as well as the general public, converged on the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin, the highlight in a year full of science and innovation events, such as Science Week, Nanoweek, and Engineers Week.

Most notable during 2012, however, is the impact young people in Ireland have been making in innovation. James Whelton’s CoderDojo movement has gone international, student Paddy Mulcahy won the Irish leg of the 2012 James Dyson award, Mark Kelly and Eric Doyle, this year’s overall winners at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, also scooped another top award at the EUCYS, and teenager Joanne O’Riordan, who has no limbs, gave a speech to global leaders at a United Nations conference for Girls in ICT Day on how technology has changed her life.

To celebrate a year that also included great research, discoveries and partnerships, has dedicated this coming month to the top 100 most popular science and innovation stories of 2012. Our countdown continues below.

Alcatel Lucent Open Innovation Boot Camp

95 – IPMOD wins Alcatel-Lucent Open Innovation Boot Camp

A project that allows telecom providers to pinpoint anomalies that could trigger outages or other issues in networks has won the overall award at the Alcatel-Lucent Open Innovation Boot Camp in Dublin.

The IPMOD project, which was spawned by a research team at Alcatel-Lucent Newport in South Wales, received the innovation award at an awards ceremony held in Alcatel-Lucent’s Blanchardstown, Dublin, hub.

Solar eclipse

94Solar eclipse creates ‘ring of fire’ treat for stargazers

Millions of stargazers in eastern Asia, the north Pacific and in western US states received a cosmic treat as a result of the annual eclipse of the sun.

The astronomical event happened because the moon’s orbit was at the furthest distance from Earth. This meant it blocked the smallest portion of the sun and left a large bright ring of fire around the outside for the briefest of seconds.

Google X Labs

93Google X Labs: HUD shades and taking pictures of mind’s eye

What is the big mystery technology that Google’s X Labs is working on? Well, it’s a number of things that include sunglasses with heads-up display (HUD) information and potentially technologies that can take pictures of your mind’s eye and solve the world’s food and water supply problems.

Google is understood to be finishing up a prototype for wearable computers that use HUD display technology to provide users with information from Google’s cloud services and location-based GPS to inform users of their immediate surroundings via augmented reality.

Dara O'Briain

92 – Dara O Briain in science show School Of Hard Sums

Irish comedian Dara O Briain has been dabbling in a lot of science this past year. Fresh from his hugely popular Stargazing show on the BBC, which he co-presented with Prof Brian Cox, O Briain took on a new show all about maths and algebra.

School Of Hard Sums features eight episodes and O Briain presented the show alongside Oxford University maths professor Marcus du Sautoy.

John Power & Minister  Pat Rabbitte

91 – Ireland’s energy infrastructure challenges – report

Engineers Ireland has brought out its analysis of Ireland’s energy infrastructure. According to the body, Ireland’s energy infrastructure has served the country well up to now, but it is now facing significant challenges, including security of supply, competitiveness and meeting carbon emission targets.

The publication of the report, The State of Ireland 2012 – A Review of Infrastructure in Ireland, also marked the start of Engineers Week.