Wednesday, 6 June 2018

  NUI Galway congratulates TG4 and Gifted Empire Productions following their win at the Irish Film and Television Awards for their live production from the University campus in October 2016. The outstanding production provided by Gifted Empire Productions for TG4XX Beo, TG4's 20th-anniversary celebrations, was acknowledged last week by the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) at their Gala 2018 Awards in Dublin’s RDS.  Taking home the IFTA for “Best Live Event”,  Gifted Empire’s production was broadcast live from NUI Galway on Halloween night, 31st October 2016 on TG4.  President Michael D Higgins along with TG4’s Director General, Alan Esslemont gave addresses, the show also featured a music, dance and performance extravaganza including appearances from Hothouse Flowers, Duke Special with Ulaid and Prodijig. The production involved constructing a glass pavilion structure in the University’s historic Quadrangle which accommodated 500 guests on the night including President of Ireland, Connacht Rugby team and over 100 live performers.  The location of the event in the heart of the University was symbolic and highlights the relationship between NUI Galway and Gaeltacht communities across Ireland and in its hinterland. NUI Galway is proud to work with TG4 to facilitate broad civic participation in an inclusive Irish language identity since 1996. Graduates and staff of NUI Galway have played significant roles on- and off-screen in the development and identity of TnaG since 1996 and TG4 since 1999.  Academic projects such as NUI Galway’s conference TG4@10 in October 2006 examined the impact of TG4 on the language and media community.  Programmes such as An tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach provided an important talent stream in the initial years of the channel and production programmes such as An Dioplóma i Scileanna Físe (Gaoth Dobhair) was a key contributor to sectoral capacity building for TG4 and the audio-visual sector nationally Speaking on taking home the IFTA, NUI Galway graduate Paul McKay, who was Executive Producer of TG4XX Beo, and is Director of Gifted Empire Productions, said: “We are so proud of the work we delivered on TG4XX Beo and we are delighted that IFTA has recognised it with this (Best Live Event win).  We worked very hard to deliver the most memorable birthday celebration for TG4 on Halloween night and to win the IFTA award for it is the icing on the cake.” The IFTA’s were held in Dublin on Thursday 31st May 2018 and were be broadcast on TG4 on Saturday 2nd June. Take a look at TG4's 20th Anniversary Live Concert from NUI Galway which took place on Halloween night 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=picpFAcOXho

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway will host its Annual Symposium on Higher Education on Friday, 15 June in Áras Moyola. The conference theme is “Design for Learning” and will focus on the design and use of teaching and learning spaces that facilitate active learning, collaboration, and student engagement.   The Symposium will explore a wide range of aspects of designing for learning: from state-of-the-art learning spaces to inspiring examples of 'hacking' spaces, from classrooms and labs to libraries and learning commons, and from physical to online, hybrid, and open environments. Professor Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence and Teaching at NUI Galway, said: “At this symposium, participants will explore the question of how the design of the spaces in which we teach or study might shape the experience. Are there different ways of designing classrooms, for example, that would enable more active, engaged learning and discussion? If we are using a wide range of technologies to support learning, what kinds of study spaces would be best for students, particularly when working in teams or on projects? We'll be looking at examples from around the world and also considering the important role of virtual and online spaces. Through a combination of presentations, workshops, and discussions – involving international speakers, university staff, and students – we hope to generate practical ideas for the future of university learning and teaching.” The conference will feature keynote speakers:  Dr Alastair Blyth is an architect and research analyst specialising in learning environments and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. Alastair aims to help people re-imagine the creation of learning environments – educational and physical – that motivate, engage, and inspire students and teachers alike, to enable societies to produce students with the creative, collaborative, and communication skills they need. Alastair is the co-author of several OECD surveys and policy reviews, including ‘Higher Education Spaces and Places’ for learning, innovation and knowledge exchange. Dr Donna Lanclos is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and active learning pedagogies and practices. Lorna Campbell works for the University of Edinburgh’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Service within the Learning, Teaching, and Web Services Directorate, where her work includes strategies for embedding and supporting open education and OER within the institution. Lorna is a Trustee of Wikimedia UK and of the Association for Learning Technology and a member of the Open Knowledge Open Education Working Group Advisory Board. The Symposium will also contain presentations, workshops, and discussion sessions offered by staff from NUI Galway and other Irish higher education institutions.          The event is free and open to all. For further information or to register visit celt18.eventbrite.ie.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Summer School led by KPMG Principal and NUI Galway Adjunct Professor Laurence May NUI Galway recently hosted the inaugural KPMG-led Analytics Summer School, the first of its kind in Europe. The Summer School will be a recurring annual programme and available to students who are undertaking either NUI Galway’s Master of Accounting or MSc (International Accounting and Analytics), and focuses on auditing and accounting analytics and cognitive technologies using KPMG software and tools.   The Summer School uses KPMG tools which were developed to harness the power of technology and bring greater vigour, precision and meaningful insights to the increasing age of data. In addition, participants also heard from a number of guest speakers throughout the programme including: Marie Joyce, CFO at National Toll Roads;, Mathieu D'Aquin, Professor of Informatics at Insight Centre for Data Analytics; Joe Smyth, Vice-President of R&D AI Group at Genesys; Mark Gantly, Senior R&D Director Software Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise; and Gearoid Hynes, Head of Product at Orreco.   Laurence May, Principal at KPMG and Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with the success of the inaugural programme and with the enthusiastic response it has received in the business community and in academia. The key to its success was twofold – the calibre of the KPMG and guest speakers and the practical application of the tools by participants. KPMG is proud to be associated with this innovative programme.”   Dr Geraldine Robbins, Programme Director, NUI Galway said: “It is important that accountants are well positioned to play a leading role in reaping the benefits from growth in data analytics capabilities as the accounting/finance function often has responsibility for analytics in their organisation. Accountants are at a distinct advantage when implementing data analytics not only because they have ready access to data but they also have the training and expertise to make sense of financial data. Data analytics in accounting can help in boosting competitiveness, enhancing financial reporting, managing risks and identifying fraud.”   For more information about the Accounting Masters programmes available email accounting@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/.   -Ends-  

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, has been elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy for his contribution to Humanities and Social Sciences, during a special admittance ceremony recently in Dublin. Professor Lonergan was one of 28 new Members of the Royal Irish Academy elected for their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences as well as to public service. New members joining Professor Lonergan include the poet Eavan Boland, public servant, Martin Mansergh, geologist Koen Verbruggen and educationalist Áine Hyland. Professor Peter Kennedy, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: “We should be proud of these new Members of the Academy for the honour their work brings to this country and the impact of this research on the quality of the higher education provided by our universities.” Professor Patrick Lonergan is one of Ireland’s foremost theatre scholars and Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. He is academic leader of the digitisation of the archives from the Abbey and Gate Theatres, the world’s largest multi-media digital theatre archive collection, making possible a new era in Irish theatre scholarship, which is digitised at the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway. Professor Lonergan is the author of several books on Irish theatre including the award-winning Theatre and Globalization (winner of the Theatre Book Prize UK in 2008), The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh (2012), and Theatre and Social Media (2015). In 2019 his History of Irish Theatre since 1950 will be published by Bloomsbury. He is a board member of Galway International Arts Festival and Galway Music Residency, and has lectured on Irish theatre at many venues internationally including Princeton, Florence, Florianapolis (Brazil), Wroclaw, and Tokyo. Congratulating Professor Lonergan on this honour, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to see the work of Professor Lonergan being recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and it is a testament to the high calibre of Professor Lonergan’s academic work and achievements to date.” The Royal Irish Academy is Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Past Members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel and Nobel laureates: WB Yeats; Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will be the keynote speaker at a symposium on Conradh na Gaeilge and the Revival of Irish which will be held at NUI Galway on Friday, 15 June.   The day-long symposium, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, is the University’s main event for Bliain na Gaeilge, which marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Conradh na Gaeilge.   The event also celebrates the decision of Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 to deposit its archives in NUI Galway. An archivist has recently been appointed to catalogue the archive, including some material to be selected for digitisation.   Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway and symposium organiser, said: “This event includes papers on a range of research topics related to 125 years of the Revival. Researchers and leading public figures will speak about this topic and draw attention to the fantastic research opportunities presented by the Conradh na Gaeilge archives.”   “The Conradh na Gaeilge archive is a very significant resource for teaching and research and is a major addition to the University’s extensive Irish language collections”, said James Hardiman Librarian, John Cox.   Speaking about this symposium, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hOgartaigh said: “The Irish language is uniquely and centrally important to the mission and ethos of NUI Galway, our heritage and our hinterland.  By holding the archive of Conradh na Gaeilge in trust for scholars and the Irish nation our University will act as custodian of an important part of the history of our language.  We’re proud to do so and we look forward to the new perspectives for international scholarship which the archive will offer.  This symposium serves as a major contribution to Bliain na Gaeilge, marking 125 years of Conradh na Gaeilge, and will enable scholars and language policy makers to reflect on language development over the past century while also looking to the future of the Irish language.”   Along with President Higgins, speakers will include: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir of TG4 Dr Mary Harris of the Department of History, NUI Galway Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, UCD Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway Dr John Walsh, Department of Irish, NUI Galway Professor Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin,  Department of Irish, NUI Galway Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted that our archive is being deposited permanently in NUI Galway. We believe that regular opportunities will become available to use the archival material and we are looking forward to the first such opportunity at the symposium being organised by the University and Conradh na Gaeilge on 15 June.”    The symposium is jointly organised by NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and the Department of Irish, and Conradh na Gaeilge. The event is free to attend but registration is required by Friday, 8 June. Details are available at http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp   -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Is é Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn a thabharfaidh an príomhaitheasc ag siompóisiam faoi Chonradh na Gaeilge agus an Athbheochan a reáchtálfar in OÉ Gaillimh Dé hAoine, an 15 Meitheamh. Is é an siompóisiam lae, ‘125 Bliain ag Fás – An Athbheochan agus Conradh na Gaeilge’, príomhócáid na hOllscoile le haghaidh Bhliain na Gaeilge atá ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ó bunaíodh an Conradh. Ceiliúradh atá san ócáid seo chomh maith ar an gcinneadh a rinne Conradh na Gaeilge in 2017 a chartlann a chur i dtaisce in OÉ Gaillimh. Le déanaí ceapadh cartlannaí chun an chartlann a chatalógú agus le digitiú a dhéanamh ar chuid den ábhar. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge agus fear eagair an tsiompóisiam: “Ag an ócáid seo, léifear páipéir ar réimse téamaí taighde a bhfuil baint acu le 125 bliain den Athbheochan. Labhróidh taighdeoirí agus pearsana poiblí iomráiteacha eile faoin téama seo agus tarraingeoidh siad aird ar na deiseanna iontacha taighde a eascraíonn as cartlann an Chonartha.” “Acmhainn ríluachmhar teagaisc agus taighde atá i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge agus cuireann sí go mór leis na bailiúcháin thábhachtacha Ghaeilge atá ag an Ollscoil cheana”, a dúirt Leabharlannaí Shéamais Uí Argadáin, John Cox. Ag labhairt faoin siompóisiam seo, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: "Tá an Ghaeilge uathúil agus thar a bheith tábhachtach do mhisean agus d’éiteas OÉ Gaillimh, dár n-oidhreacht agus dár gceantar máguaird.  Trí chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge a choinneáil faoi iontaobhas anseo do scoláirí agus do phobal na hÉireann, beidh an Ollscoil seo ina caomhnóir ar chuid thábhachtach de stair ár dteanga.  Táimid bródúil é seo a dhéanamh agus táimid ag tnúth leis na peirspictíochtaí nua a chuirfidh an chartlann ar fáil do léann idirnáisiúnta.  Is cuid thábhachtach de Bhliain na Gaeilge é an siompóisiam, bliain atá ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar 125 bliain ó bunaíodh Conradh na Gaeilge, agus cuirfidh sé ar chumas scoláirí agus lucht déanta polasaí teanga a machnamh a dhéanamh ar fhorbairt na teanga le céad bliain anuas agus iad ag breathnú san am céanna ar thodhchaí na Gaeilge. " Beidh na cainteoirí eile seo páirteach sa siompóisiam chomh maith: Alan Esslemont, Ard-Stiúrthóir TG4 An Dr Máire Harris ó Roinn na Staire, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Regina Uí Chollatáin, COBÁC Cuan Ó Seireadáin, Conradh na Gaeilge An Dr Hugh Rowland, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An Dr John Walsh, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh An tOllamh Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh Dúirt an Dr Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge: “Tá ríméad orainn i gConradh na Gaeilge go bhfuil ár gcartlann á cur i dtaisce go buan in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Creideann muid go dtiocfaidh deiseanna rialta chun cinn le hábhar na cartlainne a úsáid agus táimid ag súil leis an gcéad deis sin ag an siompóisiam lae a bheidh á reáchtáil ag an Ollscoil agus ag an gConradh ar an 15 Meitheamh.” Tá an siompóisiam lae seo á reáchtáil ag Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin, ag Roinn na Gaeilge agus ag Conradh na Gaeilge. Níl aon chostas air ach is gá clárú faoin 8 Meitheamh. Tá breis eolais ar fáil ag http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=561  -Críoch-

Monday, 30 April 2018

NUI Galway student Meadhbh Ní Eadhra was announced the winner of ‘Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió’ at the prestigious National Student Media Awards recently. Meadhbh was presented the award by Lynette Fay, Radio Journalist with BBC Radio Ulster and NUI Galway graduate, in front of an audience that included RTÉ’s Eileen Dunne, Senator David Norris, and Dublin GAA Manager Jim Gavin. The award was proudly sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge. “I am delighted to receive this recognition from well-known and much-respected names in the media industry,” said Meadhbh. “I love being on radio and would like to thank the University’s radio station Flirt FM for giving me the opportunity to broadcast my show every week. I have a great passion and love for the Irish language and hopefully my show is testament to that.” Meadhbh is from Spiddal in Co. Galway. Her radio show ‘Gan Teorainn’, is broadcast live on Flirt FM 101.3 every week. Meadhbh spent many years working as a journalist and literary critic with national newspapers such as Lá Nua, Foinse and Gaelscéal, and presented current affairs shows on Raidió na Life and Flirt FM. She first began broadcasting on radio when she volunteered with Flirt FM as an undergraduate student at NUI Galway, and she won the National Réalt DJ competition during that time. She is a published author who has written three award-winning books for young people, Rua, Fainne Fí Fífí and Faye. She has received many awards for her writing, including Oireachtas na Gaeilge prizes and the Moth International Short Story Prize. The National Student Media Awards, known as the Smedias by students, are an opportunity for aspiring media professionals to showcase their work and talent to Ireland’s top media personalities with high profile judges such as Academy award winning director Ben Cleary, multiple award winning author and playwright Paul Howard, and various editors and producers from Ireland's leading media organisations.  -Ends- Gradam Raidió mór le rá bronnta ar Mhac Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ag Gradaim Náisiúnta na Meán do Mhic Léinn  Ainmníodh mac léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, Meadhbh Ní Eadhra, mar bhuaiteoir ar an ngradam ‘Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió’ ag Gradaim Náisiúnta mór le rá na Meán do Mhic Léinn le déanaí. Bhronn Lynette Fay, Iriseoir Raidió le BBC Raidió Uladh agus céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, an gradam ar Mheadhbh. I measc iad siúd a bhí sa lucht féachana ag an ócáid bhí Eileen Dunne ó RTÉ, an Seanadóir David Norris, agus Bainisteoir CLG Bhaile Átha Cliath, Jim Gavin. Rinne Foras na Gaeilge urraíocht ar an ngradam. “Tá an-áthas orm an t-aitheantas seo a fháil ó dhaoine a bhfuil ardmheas orthu i dtionscal na meán,” a deir Meadhbh. “Is breá liom a bheith ag craoladh ar an raidió agus ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghlacadh le stáisiún raidió na hOllscoile, Flirt FM, as an deis a thabhairt dom mo chlár a chraoladh chuile sheachtain. Tá grá mór agam don Ghaeilge agus tá súil agam gur fianaise é mo chlár air sin.” Is as an Spidéal i gCo. na Gaillimhe do Mheadhbh. Craoltar a clár raidió ‘Gan Teorainn’ beo ar Flirt FM 101.3 chuile sheachtain. Chaith Meadhbh na blianta ag obair mar iriseoir agus mar léirmheastóir liteartha le nuachtáin náisiúnta cosúil le Lá Nua, Foinse agus Gaelscéal, agus chuir sí cláir cúrsaí reatha i láthair ar Raidió na Life agus ar Flirt FM. Thosaigh sí ag craoladh ar an raidió nuair a rinne sí obair dheonach le Flirt FM agus í ina mac léinn fochéime in OÉ Gaillimh, agus bhuaigh sí comórtas Náisiúnta Réalt DJ le linn na tréimhse sin. Is údar foilsithe í a bhfuil trí leabhar, a bhain gradaim amach, scríofa aici do dhaoine óga, Rua, Fáinne Fí Fífí agus Faye. Is iomaí gradam atá bainte amach aici dá cuid scríbhneoireachta, lena n-áirítear duaiseanna Oireachtas na Gaeilge agus Duais Idirnáisiúnta Moth do Ghearrscéalta. Is deis iad Gradaim Náisiúnta Meán na Mac Léinn, na Smedias mar a thugann mic léinn orthu, do ghairmithe uaillmhianacha i dtionscal na meán a gcuid oibre agus tallainne a chur ar taispeáint do dhaoine mór le rá sna meáin in Éirinn agus moltóirí cosúil le Ben Cleary, an léiritheoir a bhfuil gradam Oscar buaite aige, Paul Howard, an t-údar agus an drámadóir a bhfuil gradaim go leor buaite aige, mar aon le heagarthóirí agus léiritheoirí éagsúla ó eagraíochtaí móra meán na hÉireann.  -Críoch-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Dr Martin O’Halloran, Director of the Lambe Translational Medical Device laboratory at NUI Galway is the only Irish scientist among fifty in Europe awarded European Research Council top-up funding, through a Proof of Concept Grant, to develop a novel hydrogel to treat chronic pain. The Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each, are part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The top-up funding award will allow Dr O’Halloran to develop the results of his scientific hydrogel concept to file patent applications and attract capital to make the research marketable, and explore the commercial and societal potential of the product. Chronic nerve pain can significantly worsen people’s quality of life. According to international studies, one in five adults in Europe suffers from chronic pain which amounts to 95 million people. The novel gel being developed during this project can be used to treat many different types of peripheral nerve pain. One common type of chronic pain is Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), a prolonged debilitating condition caused by a trauma to the trigeminal nerve, resulting in sudden attacks of excruciating shooting facial pain. It is infamously called the “suicide disease” due to the high number of suicides associated with it. Dr Martin O’ Halloran will use his Proof of Concept Grant to seek to develop this novel hydrogel, which aims to provide long-lasting and drug-free treatment for this condition and other areas affected by chronic nerve pain. Speaking about the project, Dr Martin O’ Halloran, Techrete Senior Lecturer in Medical Electronics at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding for our chronic pain project, given the tremendous impact the condition has on patients in Ireland. This project concept was co-developed with Dr Alison Liddy, an engineer-chemist at NUI Galway with a particular expertise in chronic pain. Given that this project marks our fourth European Research Council grant in four years, it is a great testament to the quality and hard work of the researchers in our laboratory.” A recently released independent review of this European Research Council innovation scheme showed that the initiative is “sound in concept and effective in practice”, helping ERC-funded scientists set up new companies, file patent applications and attract capital to make their research marketable. The new grants were awarded to researchers working in 12 countries: Austria (2 grants), Finland (3), Germany (7), Ireland (1), Israel (8), Italy (3), Netherlands (3), Norway (1), Spain (5), Sweden (3), Switzerland (3) and the UK (11). The grant scheme is only open to European Research Council grantees who can apply for funding in one of the three rounds of the call every year. The results of this first round of 2018, in which the European Research Council evaluated 114 applications. The budget of the 2018 competition is €20 million. For more information about the funded projects, visit: https://erc.europa.eu/erc-proof-concept-grant-2018-project-examples and to read the independent review of the ERC innovation scheme, visit: https://erc.europa.eu/news/review_praises_erc_poc_scheme -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

NUI Galway will host the Eighth National Social Marketing Conference, ‘Co-Creating Change’, on Thursday, 24 May in the Aula Maxima. The national event will bring leaders and researchers in health and sustainable change in public and voluntary sectors together with world-renowned social marketing experts from Canada, Australia, Europe and Ireland. The conference will explore in greater detail how empowered citizens and communities can co-create and foster sustainable behaviour change. In addition, the conference will feature cutting-edge talks from around the world including insights into improving behavioural change effectiveness through applying a strategic approach to planning. This year the keynote speakers will include: Professor Walter Wymer, Professor of Marketing, University of Lethbridge, Canada;  Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is Director, Social Marketing at Griffith University, Australia and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Social Marketing; Professor Alan Tapp, Professor of Marketing, University of the West of England-Bristol; Professor Gerard Hastings, Professor at Stirling, England, and Professeur Associé at the École des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique in Rennes, France; as well as additional health and environmental health presentations. Conversations throughout the day will include: how social marketing use tools in co-creating sustainable behaviour change; how to follow proven social marketing secrets to develop an effective intervention on limited budgets; how to use the success factors of proven social marketing interventions; how to address the major societal challenges of our time; and how to think strategically about innovative social change through co-creating change. Dr Christine Domegan, Head of Marketing Discipline, Senior Lecturer and Social Innovation and Policy Leader, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway is this year's Conference Chair. Dr Domegan said: “We are excited and grateful to welcome an esteemed group of change experts from around the world who are engaging and seasoned speakers willing to share their insights, tips and tools for co-creating change in an easy and understandable manner.” For further information, schedule and online booking, please visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway will host a research seminar presented by Nobel laureate, Professor Paul Modrich of Duke University Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US. Professor Modrich will talk about ‘Mechanisms in human DNA mismatch repair’. Professor Paul Modrich was one of three scientists to share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2015 for landmark discoveries over four decades of work in DNA repair.  His host at NUI Galway, Professor Robert Lahue, trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Modrich’s laboratory. The Nobel Committee cited one of the Lahue-Modrich publications as groundbreaking. The Nobel Committee recognised Professor Modrich’s work on mismatch repair, which acts as a genetic spellchecker to preserve the DNA. Defects in mismatch repair are now known to cause certain hereditary forms of colorectal cancer. Genetic testing of cancer patients helps identify those with mismatch repair defects, providing information, which is important in guiding their treatment. Professor Robert Lahue from the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, said: “The research community at NUI Galway is tremendously excited about Professor Modrich’s visit and seminar.  He is a world leader in the area of DNA biochemistry and cancer biology. We are fortunate to have him visit, to present a seminar and to interact with members of our Centre and other researchers at NUI Galway.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

NUI Galway students scooped four awards at the recent Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Student Achievement Awards Ireland (SAAI) 2018. The annual Student Achievement Awards Ireland is an opportunity for the student movement in Ireland to recognise the contribution of students to the life of Ireland and the student community. Bachelor of Science student Clare Austick from Galway City was awarded the Part-Time Officer of the Year Award; Bachelor of Commerce student Nargis Dewji from Tanzania won International Student of the Year; while Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology student Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway, was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. NUI Galway Students’ Union was presented with the Welfare Campaign of the Year with their sexual health and guidance campaign. Congratulating the students, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University offers students a wonderful opportunity to try new things and develop their potential. Each of the NUI Galway winners of the USI Student Achievement Awards has demonstrated this to the full. They have shown a tremendous commitment to helping their fellow students, becoming respected student leaders and have benefitted by gaining confidence and life experience which will enrich their future careers. I extend warmest congratulations to each of the Awardees and I commend them for the way that they have used the opportunity which the student experience provides in order to help others.” -Ends-

Thursday, 3 May 2018

International conference at NUI Galway on 24 May to explore artificial intelligence and machine learning Festival season in Galway is well underway with the AtlanTec Festival 2018, which runs from April through to 25 May. Now in its fourth year, the IT festival is organised by the IT Association Galway (ITAG). At the heart of the festival will be the international conference on 24 May, co-hosted by NUI Galway. This year’s AtlanTec Conference at NUI Galway is themed on ‘The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’. Some 300 business leaders and expert software developers are expected to attend the day-long conference which will explore all aspects of the topic. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the drivers of a wave of innovation in IT. Machines and robots are being programmed to adapt some of the cognitive functions associated with humans, such as learning and problem solving. Many have cited this as revolutionary and life changing for society as we know it. The conference will feature innovators and future thinkers who will give insights into such possibilities, while also discussing related technological topics such as data analytics, deep learning, virtual assistants and chatbots. An array of speakers have been announced from as far afield as Vancouver, Denmark, India, New York, the UK, as well as Ireland. Among those will be Nell Watson, an engineer, entrepreneur, and futurist thinker affiliated with the Singularity University and The Future Society at Harvard; and Canadian inventor Ann Makosinski who has created a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand and a mug that uses heat from a drink to charge a phone. IT Association Galway and AtlanTec Festival CEO Caroline Cawley explains the purpose of the festival and conference: “AtlanTec Festival showcases Galway’s diverse technology culture. It’s an opportunity to encourage creativity, collaboration and innovation within the IT, business and educational communities in the West of Ireland. The ability to attract international speakers of the calibre of Nell Watson and Ann Makosinski is a testament to the innovative culture that exists in the west.” Other festival events take place across a range of venues and include: In-Company Events across Galway’s Tecnology Sector – April until end May Digital Women’s Forum ‘Pressing for Progress’ - Hotel Meyrick, 23 May Transition Year Gets Techie – GMIT, 10 May Tech Tag World Championships – Corinthians RFC, 25 May Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Some of the largest companies in the sector have bases in Galway. We are also home to some incredible innovative indigenous organisations, including 15 ICT start-ups based here on campus and many more in incubators across the city. Combine this with the research expertise at NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics and College of Engineering and IT, along with GMIT’s expertise and we have an ecosystem that goes from strength to strength.” The festival is supported by ITAG Skillnet, NUI Galway, Avaya, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, DXC, Fintrax, HPE, Storm Technology, Valeo, GMIT and Galway City Council. The Art of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning conference will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway on Thursday, 24 May. For bookings and full details of AtlanTec Festival, email contact@itag.ie or visit: www.atlantec.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Advance Higher Education has announced today (Monday, 7 May) that NUI Galway has achieved an Athena SWAN award. Additionally, the School of Medicine has been conferred with a departmental level award. The awards at Bronze level recognises that the University and the School of Medicine have demonstrated a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.   Through the implementation of an action plan containing a range of specific, measurable activities, NUI Galway has introduced a range of initiatives focused on gender equality in recent years. Work on implementing these actions and other gender equality initiatives is already underway, and will continue to be fully supported by the University’s senior management team. These initiatives include: The introduction of gender quotas for University promotion schemes where applicable Inclusivity and unconscious bias training programmes and workshops for managers and staff Specific leadership development programmes for female University staff Targeted supports for parents returning from leave, including research grants to help mitigate the impact of an extended leave period on research activities, return to work programmes and breastfeeding support workshops Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to receive an Athena SWAN Bronze award for our institution. It recognises the energetic and sustained work in recent years to address equality challenges in the University. However we recognise that we are still at an early stage in this important journey.” NUI Galway President, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomed the result and paid tribute to the work of the Athena SWAN self-assessment team and in particular the Chair, Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity and her team in supporting this important initiative. President Ó hÓgartaigh also commented that due recognition should be given to the role played by his predecessor, Dr Jim Browne and the NUI Galway management team. Re-affirming his support for the implementation of the Athena SWAN three-year action plan, he stated that: “NUI Galway embraces diversity and diverse voices as a hallmark of the University and we look forward to reflecting this as a strength of the University, and its hinterland, in NUI Galway’s strategic development.” Athena SWAN is an internationally recognised Charter which supports the development of a better working environment for all staff and students, and helps institutions meet the requirements and expectations of research funders, align with policy priorities, and meet legislative requirements. The attainment of the Athena SWAN Bronze award has been identified as a key priority in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, and several funding agencies will make gender equality accreditation in higher education institutions a condition of funding by the end of 2019. -Ends-

Friday, 4 May 2018

New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd and founder of Irish Central.com, Niall O’Dowd will lead a discussion of the new right phenomenon The Moore Institute at NUI Galway will host an event with special guests Maureen Dowd, Opinion Editorial columnist with the New York Times and The Irish Times, and Irish journalist Niall O’Dowd, founder of Irish Voice Newspaper, Irish America Magazine and Irish Central.com. Both will lead a discussion of the phenomenon, ‘Trump, Irish America and the New Right’. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, says: “A striking recent development in American politics has been the emergence of Irish Americans associated with the Right and their participation in, or support for, the Trump administration. The traditional expectation that Irish Americans align themselves with the Democratic Party, led by the Kennedy family and figures like Tip O’Neill, has been overturned, first by conservative commentators on Fox News like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and then by prominent members of the Trump election team and cabinet, past and present, including Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, John Kelly, Sean Spicer, Mick Mulvaney, Kelly-Anne Conway, and others. In the wider Republican leadership, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, among others, play an important part in this emerging trend.” This event is designed to develop a better a better understanding of this transformation, what values animate it, and how significant it is for American and world politics. Professor Carey added: “The emergence of Trump as a political phenomenon has been his close relationship with Irish Americans, who have supplied advice, support, and filled cabinet posts in his administration. The national and international impact of these figures has been enormous. Maureen Dowd and Niall O’Dowd are well placed to explain this challenging moment and to offer insight to observers in Ireland.” A panel of contributors will participate in the event that include: Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Mr Larry Donnelly and Dr Charlotte McIvor from NUI Galway, and Professor Eileen Gillooly, Columbia University. The event will be chaired by Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. This event will take place on Tuesday, 15 May at 5.30pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle, NUI Galway. The event is free and registration is essential, register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/moore-institute-13051737070 -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway has launched its University of Sanctuary Campaign. This campaign seeks to highlight the importance of access to Third-level Education for those living in Direct Provision and members of the Traveller Community. The aim of the campaign at NUI Galway is to increase public awareness of the global refugee crisis and Traveller-specific issues across the University campus. The campaign hopes to achieve their aim by advocating for the development of pre-existing fee waivers, bursaries, and scholarships for asylum seekers, while developing meaningful outreach programmes to address the dearth of Traveller participation in third-level education. The steering committee will introduce pilot projects promoting multiculturalism and equity across campus through cross-faculty cooperation. The campaign promotes increased awareness, understanding, inclusion and equity for all students attending or hoping to attend third-level education. Other higher education institutions have already received University of Sanctuary status and NUI Galway is hoping to join those ranks in the near future.  Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “Education is an enormous force for good, it transforms peoples’ lives and opportunities. As a university NUI Galway is committed to working with our local community, regional leaders, with our sector and with government to ensure equality of opportunity in accessing third level education for our refugee and asylum seeking populations, in addition to members of the travelling community.” The University of Sanctuary Steering Committee at NUI Galway includes academic and administration staff, students and societies, community partners and individuals living in the Direct Provision centres in Galway. If you would like to be involved with the University of Sanctuary campaign at NUI Galway or for more information, please contact sanctuarynuig@gmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

NUI Galway has launched its University of Sanctuary Campaign. This campaign seeks to highlight the importance of access to Third-level Education for those living in Direct Provision and members of the Traveller Community. The aim of the campaign at NUI Galway is to increase public awareness of the global refugee crisis and Traveller-specific issues across the University campus. The campaign hopes to achieve their aim by advocating for the development of pre-existing fee waivers, bursaries, and scholarships for asylum seekers, while developing meaningful outreach programmes to address the dearth of Traveller participation in third-level education. The steering committee will introduce pilot projects promoting multiculturalism and equity across campus through cross-faculty cooperation. The campaign promotes increased awareness, understanding, inclusion and equity for all students attending or hoping to attend third-level education. Other higher education institutions have already received University of Sanctuary status and NUI Galway is hoping to join those ranks in the near future.  Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “Education is an enormous force for good, it transforms peoples’ lives and opportunities. As a university NUI Galway is committed to working with our local community, regional leaders, with our sector and with government to ensure equality of opportunity in accessing third level education for our refugee and asylum seeking populations, in addition to members of the travelling community.” The University of Sanctuary Steering Committee at NUI Galway includes academic and administration staff, students and societies, community partners and individuals living in the Direct Provision centres in Galway. If you would like to be involved with the University of Sanctuary campaign at NUI Galway or for more information, please contact sanctuarynuig@gmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Tá léachtóir sna meáin in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh,  Seán Breathnach roghnaithe le bheith ina stiúrthóir ar fhadscannán Gaeilge do TG4 faoin scéim maoinithe Cine4. Bíonn Seán Breathnach, as Leitir Mealláin i gConamara, i mbun scriptscríobh agus léiriú físe a theagasc ar an BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge san Acadamh. Scríobh sé agus stiúróidh sé an script don scannán Foscadh. Is í seo an chéad uair a mbeidh fadscannán á stiúradh aige. Tá Foscadh á léiriú ag Paddy Hayes don chomhlacht Léirithe Magamedia, atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh. Dráma tuaithe dorcha, lonnaithe i gConamara, atá ann. Nuair a fhaigheann fear óg místuama amach go bhfuil athzónáil i gcomhair tithíochta déanta ar an talamh a fuair sé le huacht i ndiaidh báis a mháthair, ar baintreach í, téann sé rite air a chuid naimhde a dhealú óna chuid cairde nua. Roghnaigh TG4 agus Bord Scannán na hÉireann an scannán le cur faoi bhráid Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann an mhí seo faoin scéim, a bhfuil dianiomaíocht agus maoiniú €1.2 milliún in aghaidh an scannáin ag gabháil léi. Déanfar an scannán a thaifeadadh i lár na bliana 2019 agus déanfar é a thaispeáint ag roinnt féilte idirnáisiúnta scannán le linn 2020. Déanfar é a thaispeáint sna pictiúrlanna in Éirinn agus ar TG4 ina dhiaidh sin. Fuair an Breathnach maoiniú ón mBord Scannán roimhe seo chun an gearrscannán Maidhm a dhéanamh. Ghnóthaigh an scannán seo roinnt duaiseanna agus léirmheasanna moltacha ag breis is dosaen féile scannán in Éirinn, ar Mhór-Roinn na hEorpa, sna Stáit Aontaithe agus san Áis. Tá scríofa aige freisin faoin dátheangachas sna drámaí teilifíse, agus rinne sé iniúchadh ar dhomhan scéalaíochta An Klondike agus Corp + Anam a foilsíodh in iris phiarmheasúnaithe an Acadaimh, Léann Teanga: An Reiviú (2017). -Críoch- NUI Galway Lecturer to Direct a €1.2 million Full-length Feature Film in Irish A lecturer in Media in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway, Seán Breathnach, has been selected to direct a full-length feature film for TG4 under the flagship Cine4 funding scheme. Seán, who teaches scriptwriting and video production on the University’s BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge, wrote and will direct the script for Foscadh, marking his début production as director of a full-length feature-length film. Produced by Paddy Hayes of Galway-based Magamedia Productions, Foscadh is a dark rural drama set in Connemara. When an awkward young recluse finds his inherited land rezoned for housing after the death of his widowed mother, he struggles to distinguish friend from foe amongst his new found acquaintances. In a highly competitive scheme, the film has been selected by TG4 and Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board for submission to the Broadcast Authority of Ireland this month with an overall budget of €1.2 million. The film will be shot in mid-2019 and will be screened at a number of international festivals during 2020 prior to its theatrical release in Ireland and its television premiere on TG4. Breathnach, who hails from Leitir Mealláin in Connemara, was previously funded by the film board to make the award-winning short film Maidhm. This film was shown to critical acclaim at more than a dozen film festivals in Ireland, continental Europe, the US and Asia. Breathnach has also written about bilingualism and television drama, including a discussion of the storytelling world of An Klondike and Corp + Anam, for the Acadamh’s peer-reviewed journal, Léann Teanga: An Reiviú (2017). -Ends-

Friday, 11 May 2018

Research carried out at NUI Galway has found a 40% blockchain adoption rate among Irish enterprises to date. The study investigated why implementation in Ireland is relatively low, and proposes recommendations to increase blockchain awareness and adoption that can provide opportunities not only for economic growth but also create a new foundation for how Irish organisations and government conduct business. Blockchain is considered to be a primary IT innovation of this decade that has the potential to disrupt and reshape a number of industries. Blockchain in its simplest form is a shared database system which allows users in a peer-to-peer network to verify and store records, representing a new way to access and trust data communicated over the internet.The study was led by Dr Trevor Clohessy and Dr Thomas Acton from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway in association with the Blockchain Association of Ireland. The research focused on Ireland given its classification as a developed country in the EU, being a sovereign state with a highly developed economy and advanced IT infrastructure. Ireland is ranked in 13th place in the Bloomberg technological innovation index for 2018, which scores countries using seven criteria, including research and development spending, concentration of high-tech public companies and patent activity.The study looked at key organisational factors that influence blockchain adoption in Irish companies. Interviews were carried out with 20 organisations in Ireland, divided over different sectors such as financial, IT, education, fishing, gaming, legal, marketing and mobile app development and data was collected from representatives within these organisations in different management backgrounds that included IT, company owners, researchers and directors.Support from top management and organisational readiness were identified as key enablers for blockchain adoption. While legislative uncertainty, a lack of business cases and a lack of in-house expertise, were cited as the main reasons by decision makers for not adopting blockchain, and its association with initial coin offerings and digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies, which were perceived negatively. The study revealed three patterns pertaining to the adoption of blockchain in Ireland: ·         Top management support positively influences blockchain adoption·         Large enterprises are more likely to adopt blockchain than SMEs due to budget and available resources·         Organisational readiness is an ‘enabler’ for blockchain adoption - employees with the requisite blockchain IT knowledge and skillsOf the 20 companies interviewed, eight had adopted blockchain and 12 had not, or did not intend to adopt blockchain in the next two years. In terms of blockchain awareness, five out of 20 representatives had a basic level of blockchain awareness, six had a medium level and only nine were able to demonstrate a high level of awareness.Speaking about the study, Dr Trevor Clohessy at NUI Galway, said: “Most blockchain developments are taking place within a small network of larger organisations, typically in the fintech and information technology sectors. Where it is used, it aims to enhance the speed and transparency of transactions along complex supply chains, while reducing costs. It is also used to optimise back and middle business processes and transactions, augmenting security, reporting and regulatory and compliance profiles.“One of the benefits of blockchain is that once transactional data has been entered into the digital ledger it is immutable, which means it is not possible to either amend or remove data entered, ensuring the integrity of all transactional records. And its shared ownership makes it less vulnerable to cyberattack. Beyond business, other beneficial uses of this technology would be in voting machines and ballot boxes to address electoral fraud and potentially looking at a blockchain enabled technology-controlled border identification system that could provide a possible solution to the current North/South Brexit border challenges.”The key findings from the study demonstrate that blockchain is not confined to financial technology and financial sectors, and welcomes further government action and strategic policy to promote blockchain more broadly to encourage universal engagement, such as the roll-out of a national, government-backed blockchain initiative like other developed countries.The J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway is currently exploring various possibilities to address the gap in the lack of third level blockchain courses, such as creating executive blockchain workshops. Dr Clohessy has also introduced blockchain as a module for students within the modules for MSc Business Analytics and MSc Information Systems Management.To read the full study, visit: http://novoverse.nuigalway.ie/nui-galway-report-sheds-light-on-irish-blockchain-organisational-readiness/ -Ends-

Monday, 14 May 2018

Four primary schools from Kerry, Westmeath and Galway have been shortlisted to showcase their randomised clinical trials at NUI Galway on Friday, 18 May when the overall winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2018. Now in its third year, the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition aims to educate students about why we need randomised trials to improve healthcare nationally and globally.   Primary schools around the country were invited to create their very own fun randomised clinical trial earlier this year. The competition is run by the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TRMN) at NUI Galway, to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy. The four shortlisted primary schools are: St. Michael’s National School, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath whose trial title is: Can ten minutes of daily exercise increase students’ fitness? The pupils evaluated the effect of four weeks of exercise on fitness levels measured by heart rate changes between randomised students who received the exercise programme and those who didn’t receive the programme. St. Joseph’s National School, Kinvara, Co. Galway whose trial title is: The effect of fidgeting on concentration. The pupils noticed that some students fidget a lot when listening. They investigated the effect this had on their concentration by comparing concentration scores between the control group, who sat with their arms crossed, and the test group, who had blu-tack to fidget with, whilst listening to their teacher. Meentogues National School, Headford, Killarney, Co. Kerry whose trial title is: How much can teachers influence us? The pupils decided to investigate whether teachers influence their decisions without telling them directly. The control group made decisions without their teacher being present in the room whilst the test group had the teacher trying to influence their decisions.  Glinsk National School, Castlerea, Co. Galway whose trial title is: Do extra educational maths games improve test results? The pupils provided a test among two groups to look at the impact of maths games on addition and subtraction. The test group was given a maths game and the control group was given a non-educational game. These were provided every day for 20 minutes over a period of two weeks.   Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Program Manager at NUI Galway, said: “This initiative has really captured the children’s imagination and creativity but I also think we can learn so much from their approach. Trials can be complex and challenging for people to understand, and yet here we have children rising to this challenge so well. START is about breaking down the barriers in the understanding of trials, and helping understand the power trials have to improve healthcare for all.” Speaking about the competition entries, Dr Mairead O Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, said: “These kids have come up with a research question, taken a scientific approach to problem solving and then reported what they found clearly. All they need to do now is influence the right people to introduce change! All the participants are quite remarkable and if the future of health research is in their hands, I am very comfortable.” To learn more about the HRB-TMRN START competition visit: www.hrb-tmrn.ie or follow on Twitter at twitter.com/hrbtmrn or @hrbtmrn and Facebook at facebook.com/hrb.tmrn. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The new national supercomputer will replace ‘Fionn’ which was installed in 2013  Ireland is set to install a new national supercomputer to support research and innovation in 2018 through ICHEC at NUI Galway, with funding of €5.4 million from Science Foundation Ireland. The new system will provide Irish researchers with the high performance computing power to address some of the toughest challenges in science and society such as tackling climate change, improving healthcare and innovating Irish products through agriculture, engineering and manufacturing. The new supercomputer is a fundamental component of Ireland’s National High Performance Computing Service, and research infrastructure that will facilitate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and earth observation that are key to Irish industry and to foster new skills in the educational system. Like its predecessors, the new supercomputer will be managed and operated by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at NUI Galway, as part of the National High Performance Computing Service. The service allocates the available computer resources to Irish researchers based on a peer review process by an independent panel of scientists. It also provides extensive support and training to users of the system. The overall architecture of this new supercomputer is similar to the current system, ‘Fionn’, which has proven its value to the research community as evidenced by its constant full utilisation. While the new system will occupy the same amount of physical space and consume up to 50% more electricity, it provides approximately five times more computing power than its predecessor by virtue of advances in technology. Speaking about the importance of the new supercomputer, ICHEC Director, Professor JC Desplat from NUI Galway, said: “The future certainly lies in large amounts of data but without the appropriate high performance computing resources, data can become irrelevant. This upgraded national resource is essential to ensuring Ireland can compete internationally in key domains such as precision medicine, earth observation and artificial intelligence. It represents a crucial investment at a time where investments in high performance computing continue their strong growth globally.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, commented: “Since its inception, NUI Galway has hosted ICHEC and supported its development as an enabling technology, critical to Ireland’s competitiveness. The new national supercomputer will allow even more opportunity for innovation and impact across a myriad of sectors in Ireland’s economy and society.” The new system, which is being provided by Intel is comprised of a cluster of 336 high performance servers with 13,440 CPU (Central Processing Unit) cores and 64 terabytes of memory for general purpose computations. Additional components aimed at more specialised requirements include 6 large memory nodes with 1.5 terabytes of memory per server, plus 32 accelerator nodes divided between Intel Xeon Phi and NVidia P100 GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). The network linking all of these components together is Intel’s 100Gbit/s Omnipath technology and DataDirect Networks are providing 1 petabyte of high performance storage over a parallel filesystem. Penguin Computing will be integrating all of this hardware together and providing the software management and user interface layers. Commenting on the installation, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the installation of the new national supercomputer which has been supported through the SFI Research Infrastructure Programme. This significant award builds on previous support provided to ICHEC for the Fionn supercomputer in 2012. It will significantly advance the data intensive computing and storage capabilities of Irish research activities in life-sciences, bioinformatics, material science, ICT, and engineering and further highlights Ireland as an attractive location for world-leading scientists and engineers.” Dr Elisa Fadda, Chair of the HPC National Service User Council, said: “The contribution of high performance computing to the advancement of scientific research is now recognised as invaluable worldwide. In Ireland we have an ever-growing community of researchers, whose work is internationally recognised in fields such as biophysics, bioinformatics, physics, chemistry, computer science and engineering, all of whom heavily rely on ICHEC resources.” The supercomputer, to be installed this summer, will be named by a public naming competition. Schoolchildren across Ireland are encouraged to research one of six pioneering Irish scientists and pick the most appropriate candidate to name the new system. The best answers will win Raspberry-Pi laptops and coding lessons for their classrooms. For more information about entering the naming competition, visit: https://nameourcomputer.ichec.ie/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, is hosting an international conference on ‘The Rights of Migrants and Refugees: the role of courts and tribunals’ from 17-18 May. This two-day event brings together leading judges, practitioners and academics working on pressing issues of migration and refugee law internationally.   Professor Siobhán Mullally, Established Professor of Human Rights Law, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, said: “More people are forcibly displaced from their homes today than at any other time since the ending of World War II. The rights of migrants and refugees continue to be under threat, with many forced to take perilous journeys to reach safety, or to seek a ‘better place in the world’. Courts play a critical role in ensuring that laws do not yield to populist politics that seek to limit the protections of human rights and constitutional laws. In recent years, Irish courts have delivered landmark judgments on many of the most pressing issues for migrants and refugees, including on the right to work, family unity, protection against removal and detention, best interests of the child, and non-punishment of victims of trafficking. These and other questions will be explored at this two-day international conference.”   Keynote speakers include: Judge Paolo Pinto de Albuquerque, European Court of Human Rights; Judge Gerard Hogan, Court of Appeal, Ireland; and Hilkka Becker, Chairperson, International Protection Appeals Tribunal. Panellists include leading immigration law practitioners from Ireland and the UK, and academics and civil society representatives.   Full details and programme available at www.conference.ie. For more information or queries contact Professor Siobhán Mullally, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, at siobhan.mullally@nuigalway.ie.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Dr Aidan Thomson appointed as new Head of Music at NUI Galway From September 2018, students at NUI Galway will be able to take a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Music. This is an exciting development for music making and music education in the west of Ireland, and builds on the University’s established reputation for excellence in creative arts subjects.   The University has also announced the appointment of new Head of Music, Dr Aidan Thomson. Dr Thomson has taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Leeds and, for the last fourteen years, Queen’s University Belfast, principally in music history, theory and analysis, but also in performance.   A feature of the four-year BA degree is that all students will have the opportunity in their third year to undertake a music-related placement. Students will also be able to work with top musical professionals throughout their degree, notably the current Galway Musicians in Residence, the ConTempo String Quartet.   The core of the degree is a thorough grounding in musicianship - theory, harmony, keyboard harmony and critical listening - and training in the repertory and culture of western classical and Irish traditional music. Students will also take core modules in performance, composition and sound technology over the course of their first two years. The degree is thus aligned with the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council, meaning that graduates would be equipped to take postgraduate teaching qualifications in Music at primary and secondary level.   Students will be able to learn from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts. The university is developing strategic partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway, and is building on existing expertise in Music in different disciplines within the institution.   The degree complements many other disciplines within the College of Arts: English, Irish Studies, modern languages, and, most significantly, Drama and Film Studies. Students will have the chance to take modules that look at the relationship between music and theatre, and music and words, both academically and practically. In their final year, they will also take a module in writing about music and performance criticism, which is a feature of all creative arts subjects at NUI Galway.   Dr Aidan Thomson, newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Music at NUI Galway, said: “The timing of this new degree could not be better. Introducing music has the potential to make NUI Galway an important hub for musical performance, creation and thought. It builds on Galway’s reputation as a centre for artistic excellence, as recognized in its City of Culture status in 2020. The flexibility of the Music degree will equip students to embark on a wide variety of careers. They will be ideally equipped to build on the creative energy that will be Galway 2020’s legacy, be it as performers, composers, teachers, journalists, arts administrators or broadcasters, among others. But even before that, our students will be at the heart of the creative life of the university, the city and beyond.”   For more information on the new BA in Music visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/artsmusic/ or watch a video about the programme at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_P4RTwVNVQ.   -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A new report published today by Volunteer Ireland and NUI Galway explores how volunteering impacts the development and sustainability of rural communities. The report was launched at NUI Galway to mark National Volunteering Week (14th – 20th May) by Minister Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources and Pat Spillane, Ambassador for the Action Plan for Rural Ireland. Drawing on personal interviews and survey data, the report identifies a range of important impacts that volunteers have on rural communities. This includes positive impacts on rural infrastructure, the local economy, inhabitants themselves, social links and culture. For example, the research illustrates that volunteers play a critical role in providing local services such as children’s facilities; creating employment and improving the economy by delivering local festivals; and creating social links by fostering opportunities to meet new and diverse people. Both interviewees and survey respondents felt that volunteers were vital to sustaining rural communities. Speaking ahead of the launch, Volunteer Ireland’s Nina Arwitz, said: “Volunteering has a huge role to play in building healthy, connected communities and this is true especially in rural communities. Facing issues such as emigration and isolation, volunteers provide the social fabric of many rural communities. This research highlights not only the wide ranging impacts of volunteering on communities but also the less tangible benefits such as a sense of belonging and connection to one’s community.” NUI Galway’s Dr Maura Farrell, who led the research, continued: “Many rural communities are highly dependent on local volunteers to ensure the availability of services and facilities. Engaging our rural youth in sport; becoming a companion to an elderly neighbour or enabling a rural development project are only snapshots of what is achieved by rural volunteers, who are the drivers of rural sustainability and development and the heroes of many rural communities.”     Launching the report, Minister Kyne added: “Volunteers make a difference to communities across Ireland every day. I’m delighted to launch this research demonstrating the very real impact that volunteers have on rural communities in particular. Whether people volunteer with an organisation or simply lend a neighbour a hand, they make a critical contribution to sustainable, cohesive communities.”  eTownz CEO Pat Kennedy explained "When working with communities we focus on understanding and developing the assets within the community. Local volunteers are often the most important asset of a community and this research helped to shine a light on the huge impact they have in communities across rural Ireland." Finally, Ms Arwitz noted: “This research has evidenced something we’ve known to be true for a long time – volunteering builds better communities. We work to foster this through the national network of local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services that provide support to communities and advice to both organisations and volunteers. Together we aim to make sure that everyone feels connected to their community through volunteering. Research like this is key to informing our work.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Papers and registrations are now being accepted for the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE), which will be held from 28–31 May at NUI Galway. This is the first time the conference has been held in Ireland. The conference theme, Culture and Educational Design, highlights the importance of context in principled and participatory, educational design, and the significant influence of culture, the historic, natural and social environs on learning, teaching and assessment. Dr Tony Hall, School of Education, NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have been invited to host the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education, the first time the conference will be held in Ireland. ISDDE is one of the preeminent research communities for educational technology and design, and those researching, designing and developing educational resources, learning environments, curricular materials and technologies, particularly in the STEM areas.” Speakers will include: Professor Sarah Moore and Professor Merrilyn Goos, University of Limerick; Dr John Breslin and Dr Michael Hogan, NUI Galway; Dr Anna Walshe, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland; Professor Zalman Usiskin, University of Chicago; Professor Kaye Stacey, University of Melbourne; and Professor Akihiko Takajashi, DePaul University, Chicago.  Dr Hall added: “The International Society for Design and Development in Education was recently affiliated to the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.  Following last year’s conference at University of California, Berkeley, we look forward to hosting and welcoming Irish and international colleagues in educational design and technology to Galway and the West. This year’s conference theme, ‘Culture and Educational Design’ reflects the importance of the broader social, cultural and physical environs in the participatory and principled design of educational innovations and technologies.” The International Society for Design and Development in Education was formed to help educational designers work effectively as a coherent professional design and development community. The goals of the Society are to improve the design and development process, building a design community and increasing our impact on educational practice. More information available at: https://sites.google.com/view/isdde-2018/home. -Ends-

Thursday, 17 May 2018

NUI Galway academics contribute to a landmark survey of Irish history in the newly launched book ‘The Cambridge History of Ireland’ from circa 600 to the present day President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins officially launched the book, The Cambridge History of Ireland in Dublin Castle recently. Written by a team of more than 100 leading historians from around the world, it includes contributions from Drs Caitriona Clear, Sarah-Anne Buckley and Pádraig Lenihan, and retired Professors Nicholas Canny and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh from the Department of History at NUI Galway, and from Dr Lesa Ní Mhunghaile from Roinn na Gaeilge. The general editor, Professor Thomas Bartlett, was a lecturer and Professor in the University's History Department from 1976-1995. The work benefits from a strong political narrative framework, and includes essays that address the full range of social, economic, religious, linguistic, military, cultural, artistic and gender history. The arrangement of the volumes challenges traditional chronological boundaries in a manner that offers new perspectives and insights. Volume I, edited by Professor Brendan Smith of Bristol, presents the latest thinking on key aspects of the medieval Irish experience, focusing on the extent to which developments were unique to Ireland. The openness of Ireland to outside influences, and its capacity to influence the world beyond its shores, are recurring themes. Underpinning the book is a comparative, outward-looking approach that sees Ireland as an integral but exceptional component of medieval Christian Europe. Volume II, edited by Professor Jane Ohlmeyer of TCD, looks at the transformative and tumultuous years between 1550 and 1730, offering fresh perspectives on the political, military, religious, social, cultural, intellectual, economic, and environmental history of early modern Ireland. Dr Pádraig Lenihan from NUI Galway and Dr John Cronin jointly contribute a chapter on warfare in seventeenth century Ireland with reference to its unpleasant impact on the civilian population, strategy, tactics and weaponry, while Professor Nicholas Canny offers a sweeping narrative of how the history of this turbulent period has been approached by successive generations of historians from the sixteenth century to the present. Volume III, edited by Professor James Kelly of St Patrick’s, DCU, moves into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley’s chapter on women, men and the family from 1730-1880, engages with themes of marriage, gender, mortality, infanticide, abduction, domestic violence, divorce, celibacy, arguing that this  was a time of significant change in the lives of middle- and upper- class women. Dr Lesa Ní Mhunghaile looks at cultural and intellectual innovation in Ireland in this century and, along with her co-writer Dr Michael Brown, pointing out that commentators on the Irish condition at this time produced ‘a sustained reflection….forming grand narratives of the possible pasts and futures the country might inhabit’ (see page 380 of the book). The final volume, Volume IV, edited by Thomas Bartlett, covers the period from the 1880s to the present, and in this volume Professor Gearóid O Tuathaigh provides an overview of political and social change in the years 1880 to 2016. NUI Galway’s Dr Caitríona Clear’s chapter on social conditions in Ireland from 1880 to the First World War tells of rail networks which extended all over the country to stimulate trade and facilitate leisure, and shops multiplying in number, while new employment patterns and educational regulations brought more and more men and women, boys and girls, than ever before, out of their homes and into contact with each other on a daily basis. The volumes are copiously illustrated with special features on images of the ‘Troubles’ and on Irish art and sculpture in the twentieth century. For a full list of contributors to each volume, visit www.cambridge.org -Ends-

Friday, 18 May 2018

NUI Galway student, Jason Sherlock, was recently announced as the Galway City Council Young Volunteer of the Year, at the 15th Annual Mayor’s Awards. The Mayor of Galway City, Cllr. Pearce Flannery presented the top award to Jason in recognition of his voluntary effort and fundraising activities for a number of groups within Galway. Jason, from Galway City, recently completed the School Leavers Access Programme. Jason is a weekly charity shop volunteer with The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, sorting donations of books and clothing while helping customers as a sales team member. In addition to this, Jason has volunteered for a number of Galway charities supporting their fundraising events. The Galway Simon Community Sleep Out, Croí, The West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation Fun Run, and Ability West bag packing event have all hosted Jason as a volunteer. Jason is also a volunteer with the Civil Defence, having recently completed the F.A.R course, the newest education and training standard, to ensure volunteers can provide first aid for a person who becomes suddenly unwell or injured until the arrival of emergency medical services. Upon reflecting on what volunteering has done for him, Jason said: “I learned to be more caring and giving, and learned to give back. I’ve learned to work as part of a team and to communicate effectively and to take criticism positively.” Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway Student Volunteer Coordinator, said: “Students like Jason are willing to engage and we thank community projects in Galway for hosting students who are seeking to learn and bring their energy and enthusiasm. Jason is keenly aware of the root issues facing communities and a critical citizen, which is what we strive for in higher education. The next generation are not only caring about social needs but striving to see changes.” The Mayor’s Awards are a yearly initiative by Galway City Council to acknowledge voluntary work carried out by people within Galway City. The awards acknowledge outstanding people and organisations that, through their commitment to participating in unpaid community and voluntary activities, have made a significant impact on the quality of their communities in Galway City. -Ends-

Monday, 21 May 2018

The 2018 HBSC study marks 20 years of research and will cover mental health, use of e-cigarettes, sunbed use and means of sunburn protection, romantic attraction, cyberbullying, traditional bullying and body image The Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is currently undertaking the 2018 Health Behaviour in School Aged Children (HBSC) study, and are asking Ireland’s schoolchildren to lend their voices to the research.   The study coincides with the 20th anniversary of Health Behaviour in School-aged Children in Ireland research, which in partnership with the World Health Organisation takes place every four years in over 40 countries and regions in Europe and North America. The findings from the 2018 research will be published in spring 2019.   Since 1998, the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Ireland study, carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, has completed six survey rounds, allowing them to analyse trends in child and adolescent health. The results show that many aspects of children’s lives in Ireland have improved, but there are still important challenges.   The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study adapts over time to the lifestyles and experiences of young people. New questions in the 2018 study will cover mental health and electronic media communication, the use of e-cigarettes, sunbed use and means of sunburn protection, romantic attraction, cyberbullying, traditional bullying and body image, and children’s sense of freedom and awareness of their rights as a young person.   All across Ireland, 10,000 young people in primary and secondary schools ranging from ages 9-17 will take part in the 2018 survey. Children will be invited to fill in a questionnaire asking about different aspects of their lives. The questions cover positive health behaviour such as physical activity, and negative health behaviours such as smoking and drinking, as well as wellbeing and life satisfaction. The study also asks questions in the contexts of children’s lives, like their friendships, families, schools and local communities. The analysis of their answers will inform policy and practice development in Ireland and Europe about how to support children and young people and how to improve their health and wellbeing.   Speaking about the research, Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “We strongly believe that young people should have a voice in any research on their health and welfare, and we keep them involved in all stages of the study. The Citizen Participation Unit of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Ireland research team is inviting schoolchildren to identify and prioritise areas that are important in their lives. Then the children from ages 9-17 write their own questions for inclusion in the HBSC Ireland survey. These questions from the children include, for example, how often children play with their families, how self-confident they are, and whether they feel comfortable with their friends.”   Examples of the trends observed in the HBSC Ireland study over the past 20 years: Between 1998 and 2014 there was a significant decrease in the proportion of children who reported being current smokers (22.6% in 1998; 8.3% in 2014). Other indicators of smoking, such as early onset of smoking, also showed favourable changes. Between 1998 and 2014 there was a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of children who reported having ever been drunk (33.0% in 1998; 21.0% in 2014). Other indicators of drinking, such as early age of having the first alcoholic drink, also showed favourable changes. Between 1998 and 2014 there was a significant increase in the proportion of children who reported to have brushed their teeth more than once a day (57.6% in 1998; 69.5% in 2014). Between 1998 and 2014 there was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of children who reported finding it easy to talk to their parents about things that really bother them (for fathers: 73.0% in 1998; 82.2% in 2014; for mothers, 47.4% in 1998; 69.3% in 2014). The international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children research network agreed a group of ‘core’ questions on the fundamental aspects of healthy and risky activities, such as eating and dieting, smoking and alcohol, physical activity, school experience and support from family and friends that are used in all countries in exactly the same way. This means that the researchers at NUI Galway can compare young people’s health and wellbeing across all 40 plus countries that take part, and they believe it is crucial that young people have a voice in how their health is studied.   As well as serving as a monitoring and a knowledge-generating function, one of the key objectives of the HBSC research has been to inform decision-making about policy and practice. Irish data collected has been used to inform many national authorities and international health organisations. The Health Promotion Research Centre’s findings are channelled back to national and local youth health strategies, including the ‘State of the Nation’s Children’ and the ‘Better Outcomes Brighter Futures’ policy framework. Data from HBSC Ireland has been channelled into health-promoting initiatives including Tobacco Free Ireland and AlcoholAction Ireland, and are included in National Policy documents such as Healthy Ireland, the National Drugs and Alcohol Strategy, and the National Physical Activity plan.   International organisations like the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, UNESCO, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also use data from the Irish HBSC study in their work.   A detailed report on the trends over time can be found here: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/healthpromotionresearchcentre/hbscdocs/nationalreports/HBSC-Trends-Report-2017-(web).pdf     For more information about Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Ireland, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc/    -Ends-  

Monday, 21 May 2018

Researchers from the School of Physics at NUI Galway have carried out a biological monitoring study among the Irish adult population on non-occupational exposure to glyphosate, an active ingredient in chemical pesticides used to control weeds. This is the first study in Ireland describing glyphosate exposures among this population and the results suggest low exposure. The study investigated the background level of human exposure to glyphosate in Ireland and results from the study were recently published in the international journal, Environmental Research. The research was carried out by Michelle Leahy as part completion of her MSc in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety and by Exposure Science PhD student Alison Connolly from the School of Physics at NUI Galway. The herbicide glyphosate is the active ingredient in over 750 products including Roundup®. Glyphosate is the highest volume herbicide used globally and extensively in agriculture and horticulture to combat weeds, and is sprayed as a pre-harvest drying treatment on certain food crops. It is also widely sprayed in parks, public spaces, lawns, gardens and roadsides. Dietary exposure through pesticide residues that remain on fruit, vegetables and grains after spraying, or home use of glyphosate based pesticide products, are thought to be the most common exposure routes among the general population. The NUI Galway researchers and collaborators from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Great Britain measured glyphosate in urine samples provided by 50 Irish adults to estimate background levels of exposure among this population. Environmental and dietary exposure to glyphosate can be determined by measuring levels in biological samples such as urine. Of the 50 samples analysed, 10 (20%) of the participants urine samples had detectable trace levels of glyphosate. The median concentration of the detectable data (10 samples) was 0.85 µg L-1. This is more than 1000 times lower than the Acceptable Daily Intake level of 0.5 mg/kg body weight/day set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for glyphosate.  Commenting on the study, research project supervisor Dr Marie Coggins and Exposure Science lecturer at the School of Physics at NUI Galway, said: “Biomonitoring data across Europe on chemicals such as pesticides is rare. In this study detectable levels of pesticides in urine were low, however, further studies such as this one are required to fully characterise chemical exposures in humans to support risk assessment and to inform policy.” To read the full study in Environmental Research, visit: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118302251    -Ends-

Friday, 4 May 2018

Pint of Science Galway brings scientists out of the lab and in to your local pub NUI Galway scientists will talk about a variety of topics at pubs across Galway City and County, as part of the three-day Pint of Science Festival, where thousands of scientists around the world will speak about their research. The world’s largest festival of public science talks will take place from the 14-16 May. Galway will join nearly 300 cities and 21 countries around the world taking part in the festival. Seven scientists from NUI Galway will take to the stage in pubs across Galway to talk about their research and members of the public will have the chance to ask them questions. Topics will range from: Barnacles, Bacteria, and Beyond; Galway beneath our feet: Reconstructing Parts of our History; and Democracy in Education: Responsibilities as Citizens. The festival brings a unique line up of talks, demonstrations and live experiments to Galway alongside the main talks, and each event will also include a range of science-inspired activities including geeky puzzles and engaging stories. Pint of Science Galway events will take place in Campbell’s Tavern, Cloughanover, Headford with the theme ‘Natural Sciences and Practical Applications’, The Oslo bar event is themed ‘Shaping Future Generations: Education and Society’ and the Róisín Dubh with the theme ‘Innovating Women in Geoscience’. Ivor Geoghegan, PhD student in Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “We are excited to bring Pint of Science back to Galway. People can expect to hear fascinating stories of the research currently ongoing in Ireland from the comfort of their local pub.” Festival co-founder Dr Praveen Paul says: “There is so much fascinating research happening right under our noses that we don't know about. Some can get lost in translation leading to fake news. Pint of Science allows people direct access to inspiring scientists and encourages open discussion, all in the most familiar of places, the pub! It's great to see this enthusiasm for knowledge shared across the world.” Pint of Science was established six years ago by a group of UK-based postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers and has grown into one of the world’s biggest science festivals. The founders, Dr Praveen Paul and Dr Michael Motskin, have brought a personal touch to science, giving everyone the chance to meet the people behind the incredible research taking place across the globe. Tickets are €2 per event and on sale at: https://pintofscience.ie/events/Galway or www.pintofscience.ie -Ends-  

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Newly published essay challenges the critical assumptions that have led to the historical erasure of many of poet, John Donne’s women readers A new essay by Dr Erin A McCarthy from NUI Galway published in The Review of English Studies, challenges assumptions about the relationship between gender and taste and restores less well-known women to the history of reading who were previously erased from history. The influential poet John Dryden (1631-1700) famously complained that John Donne’s (1572-1631) poetry, best known for his metaphysical and deeply erotic poems, “perplexes the minds of the fair sex”, but Dr McCarthy’s essay examined 69 seventeenth-century manuscripts that show women read and collected the same poems as their male contemporaries. The diverse women drawn together in this essay played varied roles in early modern manuscript networks. They not only read poems but sought out, collected, and adapted them to include in their own manuscripts. Witty, rhetorical, and often challenging, John Donne’s poems have tended to be associated with all-male ‘coteries’ at the universities and the Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers in England and Wales). Some of the poems, particularly among the Songs and Sonnets and Elegies, even border on the misogynist. But their appeal extended beyond these relatively restricted circles of educated young men to reach a diverse range of early modern English readers, including women. Speaking about her research, Dr Erin A McCarthy from the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Donne’s relationships with his wealthy female patrons are well-known, but his works also appealed to women other than the familiar rich and famous ones. This essay restores these less well-known women to the history of reading and challenges assumptions about the relationship between gender and taste. Early modern women’s preferences were, in fact, broadly consistent with men’s, and it is almost impossible to know a reader’s gender without explicit evidence. “One thing about this essay that is particularly interesting to me is the list of 69 seventeenth-century books that can be directly linked to one or more named women. Most of these are ordinary women who were going about their business, they certainly wouldn’t have expected to be included in written histories of their time yet their influence on literature can still be seen today. It also strikes me that a lot of scholarship reading has been influenced by later, and even contemporary, norms and values.” “Sir Walter Scott thought that ‘the ladies’ would have preferred ‘strains more musical, if not more intelligible’, but actually, they were interested in the same things as their male contemporaries, and women both had access to and made efforts to acquire Donne’s poems. Just as women today might enjoy movies that seem to be marketed to men, and as men might enjoy romantic comedies marketed to women, this work shows that seventeenth-century women read widely among the texts that were available to them”, Dr McCarthy adds. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The study of literary manuscripts and their circulation is among the most established scholarly approaches but it also one of the freshest. Erin McCarthy’s work, with its careful and meticulous attention to describing manuscripts in the seventeenth century, gives us a way to understand their diversity and complexity, as well as giving an insight into how people read and repurposed them. John Donne’s poetry is a key case in point, prized by women’s readers who copied his verses into manuscript collections that survive in libraries and record offices.” Dr McCarthy’s work is supported by a European Research Council-funded project. To read the full article in The Review of English Studies, visit: https://academic.oup.com/res/advance-article/doi/10.1093/res/hgy018/4931222 -Ends-