NUI Galway Issues Call for Entries to Schools Science Competition

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has issued a call to secondary schools for entries to its fourth annual Schools' Science Essay Competition 2008. Sponsored by Galway-based medical technology company Medtronic, essays are invited on the topic 'Boundaries of Science – is there anything we should not do?'. The competition is open to all students in the senior cycle of secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland and also, for the first time, schools in Northern Ireland. Closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, 31 October, 2008. REMEDI's Schools' Science Essay Competition was launched in 2005 to stimulate discussion among students on the ethical and societal implications of advances in biomedical research. Competition prizes include a laptop, iPOD, crystal trophies and school prizes of science equipment bursaries. Prizes will be presented at the BT Young Scientist Festival in January of 2009. Last year, Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin took the top prize. Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI, explained the motivation for the competition: "The purpose of this project, as with all our secondary school initiatives, is to encourage young people to take an active interest in contemporary scientific research, and to consider a career in this field. Science communication should always be a two way process. While it is important for REMEDI to publicly discuss research taking place in the areas of stem cell and gene therapy, it is equally important for our scientists to listen to the public's views on this research. We have found 16-18 year-olds are more than eager to express their views on some of the questions raised by this research." Noreen Moloney, R&D New Technologies Manager at Medtronic, said: "Exciting our young people about science and engineering is crucial. Giving them the hunger, skills and confidence to tackle the next generation of scientific and technological unknowns is a key challenge. Scientific and engineering knowledge will be the drivers of our future prosperity and I strongly believe that the sponsorship of the REMEDI national essay competition is an excellent initiative which helps promote interest in science among students." Full details of the competition rules, helpful hints and additional information on how to enter are available on the education section of the REMEDI website www.remedi.ie. REMEDI is an SFI funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science located at NUI Galway.
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