Galway leads European Researcher’s event in Ireland

Preparing for the Sea2Sky event

Galway will celebrate European Researchers’ Night on Friday 28th September together with 320 cities around Europe. The Sea2Sky event organised by NUI Galway in collaboration with the Marine Institute, Galway Atlantaquaria and its new partner CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork, will showcase science on the grandest of scales themed around marine science, atmospherics and astronomy.   

The main events will be held at the Galway Bay Hotel, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria, with events also taking place in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork.  

 “Irish researchers are involved in some huge European research projects, and this is an opportunity to share some of the most exciting elements with the public.  At third-level, we have seen a surge in applications for science related courses and this event will be a real draw for anyone tempted by a career in science and research,” said NUI Galway’s Dr Andy Shearer, lecturer in physics and organiser of the event.  

Last year, some 10,000 people came to the event, and the plan is for an even bigger event this year, with highlights including the CERN exhibit, 3D tours of the universe and tours of the aquarium. This year visitors can participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, watch demonstrations and simulations, exchange ideas and get to know the researchers at the free family fun event.   

 The Marine Institute will be showcasing:  

The ROV Holland 1 and a Weather Buoy, which will be on display at the entrance to the main exhibit centre at Galway Bay Hotel.  Scientists and technicians will be there to explain the work of the equipment and recent expeditions.  

Inside the exhibit area, Marine Institute scientists will be exhibiting their work relating to:

  • Marine Environment: The phytoplankton team will be highlighting what life is in the drop of seawater - promoting the Marine Institute’s responsibility in monitoring algal blooms and highlighting their work in the national shellfish food safety programmes.  Visitors to the event will get the opportunity to see take the living “invisible” phytoplankton from a rock pool and look at it under a microscope.  
  • Weather Monitoring and Oceanography: Scientists will show a variety of technology used for providing vital data for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings – some of which have recorded Ireland’s largest waves at sea.      
  • Advanced Mapping & the Real Map of Ireland: The advanced mapping team will be show casing INFOMAR and seabed mapping and the extent of Ireland’s 220 million acre marine resource along with learning about shipwrecks in the deep sea.   
  • Research Vessel’s Operations: The RVops team will be displaying the work of the national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and the RV Celtic Voyager, as well as the remotely operated vehical  ROV Holland 1 and the special equipment used in different expeditions.   
  • VENTuRE scientific expedition / Biodiscovery and Ecosystem Survey of the Whittard Canyons: A short film will be running throughout the day at the Marine Institute stand, showing the newly discovered and previously uncharted field of hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge taken by the ROV Holland 1 last year.  Amazing footage of the cold water corals and life under the sea at depths of 3000m taken during the  Biodiscovery and Ecosystem Survey of the Whittard Canyons will also be shown.
  • Explorers Education Programme: The Explorers education officer and her team from Galway Atlantaquaria will also be providing demonstrations to children and school teachers highlighting how the seashore is a vital teaching resource and Through experiments and a  variety of demonstrations children will be able to look at life in a rock pool in the Explorers display tank - the Nobby boat.   

This year, Sea2Sky is linking up with the Galway Science Forum’s exhibition about the work of CERN – Accelerating Science. This exhibition, sponsored by Boston Scientific in partnership with NUI Galway, will show how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can help us understand fundamental questions about the origins of the universe.