The geeks are coming! New walking tour promises to be a fun fest

4 Jul 2013

On Dublin's Merrion Square, where cat-loving Erwin Schrodinger, Nobel physicist, and temporary Irishman, worked for 17 years, are the geeky guides Ronan Lyne; Ingenious Ireland director Mary Mulvihill; and Patrick Roycroft. Image via Barry Cronin

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a morning in Dublin City, well there’s a new walking tour in town. Science writer Mary Mulvihill is behind the new Ingenious Dublin tour and she is promising to give people some quirky insights into the fair city, covering everything from an air-raid shelter to elephants, earthquakes and chocolate!

Mulvihill is renowned in Irish scientific circles for her deep knowledge of Ireland’s rich science heritage. Now she is turning her attention to bringing new information on Ireland’s past innovators to people, young and old.

Crucially, her Ingenious Dublin tour seems to be all about combining fun with knowledge. It’s all about ‘big ideas’.

Speaking today, Mulvihill said that her new Dublin walking tour will celebrate great Irish inventions and ideas.

“It’s surely the only tour in the world that combines an air-raid shelter with chocolate,” she said.

A 90-minute innovation map of Dublin

According to Mulvihill, she will be giving a 90-minute odyssey of Dublin during the tour.

There will be several surprising stories, she said, including an air-raid shelter that’s hidden deep in a quiet corner of the city, two elephants, some earthquakes, postage stamps and chocolate.

“I’ll even be showing people the engine that electrified the modern world,” explained Mulvihill.

“There are some big ideas in the tour like the Irish equation that helped to land a man on the moon, as well as little inventions like the stethoscope – which changed our everyday lives. They all have an Irish connection, and are all to be found on Dublin city’s streets,” she said.

Proud of Ireland and innovation

While Ireland is generally most renowned for its writers, poets and saints, the new tour appears to be part of a social mission, on Mulvihill’s part, to highlight some of the great scientific ideas and inventions that started off in Ireland and which contributed to advancements in scientific fields such as physics, chemistry and geology.

“I’d love more people to know that some of the great ideas that have shaped the world came from Ireland and Irish people, and that these are things we can be proud of,” said Mulvihill.

The geek effect

Mulvihill already runs a company called Ingenious Ireland, which offers tours, family trails, apps and downloads. All of these have a “geeky” twist, she said.

Alongside the new Ingenious Dublin tour, she already runs a ‘Blood and Guts’ tour of horrible histories, and ‘Dublin Rocks’, a geology and fossil tour. Both of these tours start at Christ Church Cathedral on Sundays at noon.

The new Ingenious Dublin tour will kick off at Science Gallery every morning at 11am. (Science Gallery is located on the Pearse Street entrance of Trinity College Dublin). The Ingenious Dublin tour is suited for those who are aged 12 and older, due to the nature of the walking tour.

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Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic