SLIDESHOW: Limerick's Pint of Science sees attendees drink up spirited discussion

Alan Owens

Reporter:

THE diverse research being carried out at the University of Limerick was a topic for discussion in the comfortable surroundings of one of Limerick's oldest pubs as Pint of Science event took place.

JJ Bowles again played host to the fun and engaging evening of science-based discussion on Tuesday, featuring speakers from UL’s Faculties of Science and Engineering as well as the Kemmy Business School, with this marking the fifth year of the university's involvement in Pint of Science.

A regular annual event, it is the result of collaborations between a number of Science Foundation Ireland national research centres including LERO, SSPC, MACSI and UL academic departments and research institutes.

There was plenty of spirited discussion of AI, chemistry, crystals, and data security, among many other topics, according to organisers.

MC for the night was Sarah Hudson, chemical sciences, who introduced the speakers and fielded questions from the audience, which gave the presenters the opportunity to bring their subject to life.

"This is a great opportunity for people to learn about the latest scientific developments directly from the scientists themselves, to then feel free to question them and also show the diverse research being carried out in the University of Limerick," she said.

Dr Peter Davern, Chemical Sciences/SSPC, spoke engagingly about his recent poetry collection based on the periodic table of elements in his presentation on The Periodic Table of Poems – the Chemical Elements in Verse, appealing to those even with the rustiest of memories of Leaving Cert chemistry who could relate to Peter’s wry and insightful observations about the elements. 

His poems were interspersed with exciting demonstrations including a sonic boom from burning pure hydrogen, and distilling pure liquid oxygen out of the air.

Michelle Ryan, Kemmy Business School/LERO, led a lively conversation about cyber futures with her talk on ‘Will you be held to ransom every time you start your car?’.

Oisin Kavanagh, Bernal Institute, meanwhile considered prospective developments for prescription-taking patients in his Medicines of the Future talk.

Ronan Lordan, Biological Sciences, explored the facts and fictions linking cow’s milk and heart problems in his talk on Dairy and Cardiovascular Disease: Do we really need to be concerned? and Dr Matteo Lusi, Bernal Institute, shared some of his cutting edge research on solid solutions in his talk: A crystalline solution to any problem.