News & Events

Soapbox Science, 3 July Dublin 2021

Published: Monday, 28 June, 2021

Twelve female scientists are set to talk about their research in areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) this coming weekend at Soapbox Science Dublin 2021. The event will involve speakers from University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Department of Agriculture Food, and the Marine (DAFM) and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 is taking place on Saturday 3rd July (2pm - 6pm) and due to COVID-19 it will be held virtually and will be live streamed on the day to Facebook and YouTube

Established in 2011 Soapbox Science is a global public outreach platform for promoting women and non-binary scientists and the science they do. This year over 40 Soapbox Science events, including the Dublin event, are planned across 14 countries.

One of the Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 speakers is Dr. Sarah MacQueen, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science who will deliver a talk entitled, “Save the Bees… With Mathematics?!’

Speaking in advance of the event Dr MacQueen said, “Bees are cool, did you know that they can control their body temperature? They use their wing muscles to shiver so that they can warm themselves up. I use maths and models in my research to predict how bees behave under different conditions. For example, I can model how bees might behave under climate change. This has advantages as we don’t need live bees to work this out and we can try different conditions quickly. Although sometimes my virtual bees can burn up depending on the model!

“As I will explain during my Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 talk, we can help to protect bees by using maths and models, since bees are really important pollinators that help our crops and make a contribution to food security”

Amalia Naranjo-Lucena from DAFM is also a speaker at the event and will deliver a talk entitled, “The Microbial Veterinary Gardaí”. 

Amalia Naranjo-Lucena said, " The fact that tiny bacteria that we cannot see with the naked eye can cause such a variety of diseases both in animals and humans and be very successful at it always amazed me. Bacteria can rapidly adapt to a hostile environment where antibiotics are present and become resistant. Given that not many new antibiotics have been discovered in recent years, we must prevent the development of resistance against the drugs that we already have, by using them appropriately.” 

“At Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 I will explain why antibiotics are a very precious tool that we must safeguard and how we are working to keep bacteria from becoming ‘superbugs’.

Cristina Trujillo,School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin,  is also taking part in Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 and her talk is entitled, “Using Computational Chemistry to design new, non-toxic ways of obtaining pharmaceutical compounds”. 

"At the Soapbox 2021 event I would like to share my passion for computational chemistry, explaining that it is possible to make amazing science within a desktop computer. How 2D molecules written on a piece of paper look completely different when you go to the 3D world. And, how the orientation of the molecules plays a vital role in the design of new, non-toxic ways of obtaining pharmaceutical compounds using a computer"

The full list of the Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 speakers, and the topics of their talks, is outlined on the Soapbox Science website.

Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 is supported by UCD by funding through a seed funding programme and funding from the UCD Earth Institute. The event is being organised by Dr Angela Feechan, Dr Dara Stanley, Dr Saoirse Tracy and Dr Anthony Twamley, from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

Soapbox Science Dublin 2021 joint-organiser, Dr Dara Stanley, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, said, “As women in particular are under-represented at many career stages in STEMM subjects, Soapbox Science aims to break down stereotypes around who scientists are by featuring a number of female scientists speaking on a number of diverse topics. Soapbox Science Dublin is great fun so please do join us online and hear about some amazing science being carried out by twelve fantastic female scientists.”

Follow Soapbox Science Dublin via @SoapboxSciIRL and #SoapboxScienceDublin.