2016 News Archive

Science Apprentice books from UCD inspire a new generation of scientists

Monday, 21 November, 2016 

This autumn, schoolchildren around Ireland collected a new series of books produced by UCD called Science Apprentice. The five books, which were available free with the Irish Independent in Tesco stores nationwide, delved into topics about Space, Energy and Resources, Food and Health, Computers and Data and how technology will underpin our Connected Futures.

The idea for the books arose when 10-year-old Robin Boyd Smith wondered why kids don’t get to read about the exciting research that she heard about from her mother, Alex Boyd from UCD Research.

Alex Boyd, Public Engagement Project Manager, UCD Research, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, Dr Claire O’Connell, Science Writer and Journalist, Niamh Scanlon, EU Digital Girl of the Year, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland at the launch of Science Week 2016.

With funding from Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, Boyd coordinated a team that included illustrator Martin Beckett, UCD science student Richeal Ní Laoghaire, science communicator and workshop leader Phil Smyth, and science writer Dr Claire O’Connell, who interviewed more than 60 researchers at universities around Ireland about their work.

“In the books we ask lots of experts about fascinating subjects – space, where our electricity and water come from, how food nourishes us, how computers and maths are all around us, and how our everyday futures will change thanks to connected technologies," said Dr O’Connell, who is a UCD science graduate. "Just as importantly, we learn more about the people who 'do' science and engineering and what they think is cool about their work.”

“We hope the books will help inspire a young generation to explore science subjects, and consider future careers in these areas,” said Prof Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, at UCD.