UK charity the Welcome Trust is injecting €1.4m into the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), which will go towards the development of innovative projects to engage the public with biomedical science.
The Science Gallery, housed at the Naughton Institute at TCD, is a flagship national initiative which probes major scientific issues through a programme of innovative and interactive exhibitions, workshops, events and debate.
Upcoming exhibits include ‘PAY ATTENTION’, part of the LAB in the gallery series, which transports a working neuroscience research laboratory into a public space. Visitors will get the opportunity to participate as human subjects in experiments on attention and meet with researchers carrying out cutting-edge research in Ireland. ‘PLAGUE’, due to launch in 2009, will explore the nature of epidemics and involves TCD immunologists.
Over 40,000 people have visited the Science Gallery exhibitions and events since its doors opened on 1 February of this year. The current exhibition, TechnoThreads, asks what happens when a scientist meets a fashion designer and looks at the relationship between science, technology and fashion.
The Welcome Trust joins Ulster Bank, Dell, Google, ICON, PACCAR and Wyeth in supporting the Science Gallery. The charity funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending around £600m sterling each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. This is the first major capital award for public engagement with science given by the Welcome Trust in Ireland.
“The support of the Welcome Trust is a major international endorsement of the vision of the Science Gallery to open science up to debate and dialogue with all other areas of human culture,” said Dr Michael John Gorman, director of the Science Gallery.
By Sorcha Corcoran
Pictured: Participants get light-headed at the February 2008 launch of the TCD Science Gallery