Lightwave, a nine-day festival celebrating and exploring the role of light in science, technology and art, will mark the public opening of the world’s first ever science gallery at the Haughton Institute in Trinity College Dublin.
The Science Gallery was officially opened yesterday by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD alongside Ireland’s first purpose-built nanoscience research institute, both housed in the €100m cutting-edge Haughton Institute at Trinity.
The festival will have demonstrations, talks, film screenings and exhibitions, among them one from US lighting designer, Willie Williams, of a huge game of Pong played in light on the side of a building and a daylight lounge full of simulated sunshine for those suffering from winter blues.
“The Science Gallery is a flagship national initiative which will probe major scientific issues through a programme of innovative and interactive exhibitions, workshops, events and debate,” said Trinity College Provost, Dr John Hegarty.
“As a vibrant new public science cultural centre celebrating science and technology, it will focus on connecting with the 15-25 age group, firing up these young people to develop a passion for science.”
The Science Gallery’s housemate in the Haughton Institute, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), will open new frontiers of nanoscience research for Ireland.
“Nanoscience has the potential to change our lives in unforeseeable ways in the coming decades. Imagine being able to diagnose up to 20 cancers through one finger prick of blood via ‘lab on a chip’ nanotechnology or powering entire cities with wind or solar energy thanks to carbon nanotube electrical conductors.
“Or through refined chemotherapy, targeting only cancer cells and not large sections of your body. These are all possible through nanoscience, which is the study of nanoscale objects less than 100 nanometres,” said Hegarty.
Hegarty added that as Ireland is already ranked 6th globally for the impact of its nanoscience research, CRANN has an opportunity to lead the country in this area and forge links with industry.
By Marie Boran