Mark Ferguson outlines the role of science in everyday life and invites the public to get involved.

Director-general of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Mark Ferguson, is working to boost public engagement in the scientific field.

As part of this plan, Ferguson introduces the idea of challenge-based funding, whereby members of the public are invited to offer their recommendations on science-based dilemmas. The problems will have varied topics such as environmental, social, and economical.

Ferguson reminds participants that we use science in our everyday lives – at work, in our homes, on our phones and that “Science is everywhere…people often forget about it because it is so ubiquitous”.

He is extending the invitation to women, in particular, to boost flagging female numbers in the lab.

“We, and many other agencies around the world, are trying to do something about that, to encourage women to come back to science after having a career break,” Ferguson explains.

He is confident that women will continue to innovate and form an integral part of the future of Irish science.

Words by Shelly Madden