Telescope Switch On in Offaly

20476417_10155364678036047_5891420325048509082_nI was in Birr Castle recently for the switch-on of the I-LOFAR radio telescope which is Ireland’s part of a giant European telescope which can scan deep space. It works as a set of distributed nodes which each send data back to a central supercomputer.

The Castle has been a home for astronomers for centuries since the original Lord Rosse built the world’s biggest telescope there in the 1800s. The technology has changed but the intention remains the same and the current Lord Rosse was on hand to send the latest model live with us last week. Continue Reading →

Government needs to place a greater emphasis on science

As Fianna Fáil Science spokesperson I am calling for the establishment of a dedicated stand-alone office with responsibility for advising the Government on scientific and research issues. The Office of Chief Scientific Adviser was established in 2004 but was subsequently abolished by the Fine Gael led Government in 2012. Continue Reading →

BT Young Scientist

15895193_10154727764261047_8746479730821990537_nGreat day at the Young Scientist exhibition with Micheál Martin. Saw lots of great projects from Kildare schools including St. Mary’s Naas, St. Wolstans Celbridge, Scoil Mhuire Clane, Maynooth Education Campus and Gaelcholaiste Cill Dara. Some inspiring exhibits from around the country and all the key teaching, STEM and science agencies present including the Institute of Physics (where I bumped into a former lecturer of mine!). It’s a great exhibition with a great history and really showcases the talent in our schools.

Greater Calibre of ICT Graduates Needed, Second Level ICT Skills Should Be Focus

ICTHaving spent the past number of months meeting with representatives from major multinational companies, since being appointed spokerperson on Science, Technology, R&D, it has become clear that the standard of ICT graduates can be improved.  Our ICT skilled graduates has increase year on year yet the standard of graduate, according to some companies, could do with improving. Continue Reading →