Scientific Conference to Feature NUI Galway's Atmospheric Research

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Aerosol Society, a UK-based scientific organisation that promotes the science of airborne particles, is to hold its annual conference at NUI Galway from 6-7 April. This is the first time this major event has been held outside of the UK, and the latest data from NUI Galway's Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station will feature. Mace Head, which is located near Carna, Co. Galway, is one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern Hemisphere. Operated by staff from the School of Physics at NUI Galway, Mace Head is the main location of experimental research carried out by the University s Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies - a centre within NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute. Delegates at the Aerosol Society conference will learn about the latest findings from this scientific group at NUI Galway which concentrates on the physical and chemical properties of aerosols, clouds, and gaseous species in the marine environment and their ultimate role in global climate change. Professor Gerard Jennings of NUI Galway s Environmental Change Institute and School of Physics is used to the international interest Mace Head attracts: "Mace Head is a world class research facility which is available to support Irish research in high profile international research projects. The facility is central to the atmosphere-marine environment research undertaken by NUI Galway, and has been the perfect setting for a series of scientific projects over the years in studying the impacts of aerosols and climate change". In addition to a focus on atmospheric aerosol studies, the high-level conference will also address the impacts of air pollution on public health. Professor Luke Clancy, Director General of the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society, which is based in Dublin, will discuss the correlations between air pollution and reduced death. According to Professor Clancy: "While it is intuitive to believe that the health of workers would be improved by the Workplace Ban on Smoking, as we saw in the ban on the burning of coal in the '90s, as scientists we need to demonstrate these beneficial effects. Many of the benefits such as a reduction in lung cancer in non-smokers will take a number of years to become measurable. Other conditions such as respiratory health occur much more quickly and have indeed done so". Some 70 academics, scientists and industry experts are expected to attend the two-day conference which is locally organised by Dr Miriam Byrne, School of Physics, NUI Galway.
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