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NUI Galway scientists take to the streets

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield and Dr Dara Stanley from NUI Galway and event organisers of Soapbox Science Galway. Picture by AengusMcMahon

RESEARCH scientists are to take their soap boxes to the streets to promote the visibility of women in science.

The international event Soapbox Science will come to Galway's Spanish Arch on Saturday.

It will feature scientists from NUI Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Marine Institute and IT Sligo.

The event has two aims: to bring science to unexpected locations to give a broader sector of society the opportunity to meet and interact with scientists, and to promote the visibility of women.

Talks will cover diverse subjects including how to make stars, building your own body parts and sustainable fisheries.

It follows another event in Belfast last month during which eminent women scientists from the UK and Ireland talked to the public about their work and passion for science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

Dr Dara Stanley, event organiser and Lecturer in Plant Ecology, in the Botany and Plant Science Department at NUI Galway, said the university was home to a diverse range of talent.

"We're delighted to be bringing our expertise to the streets of Galway on subjects that range from osteoporosis, clean air in houses and carbohydrates chemistry," she said.

"NUI Galway has joined forces with colleagues in GMIT, the Marine Institute and IT Sligo to showcase research talent across the western seaboard."

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, a physicist in the School of Physics, added: "When many people think of a scientist, they think of a man in a white coat.

"Soapbox Science aims to challenge this perception by showcasing the work of female scientists in a fun and friendly way. In order to keep up with the need for a skilled STEM workforce, the scientific community must continue to attract the best talent, and be open and inclusive."

:: Soapbox Science runs from 11am-2pm at the Spanish Arch in Galway on Saturday July 15.

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