UNESCO Chair Welcomes Children’s Referendum

UNESCO Chair Welcomes Children’s Referendum-image

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

One of Ireland’s leading experts on child and family issues has welcomed the announcement of a date for the Children’s Rights Referendum, calling it a ‘historical and internationally significant step’. Based at NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan holds the UNESCO Chair in Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. “There is growing recognition internationally of children as independent rights holders. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that the State take further measures to incorporate children’s rights into the Irish constitution. Opening up debate around this issue, and asking the public to ultimately make the decision on where we place our children within our constitution, is vital”, said the Professor. A former social worker, he welcomed the commitment by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD to hold a referendum on the Rights of the Child in Ireland: “I hope that all parties approach the campaign in an open and honest way, making arguments based on evidence, and always with the best interests of children as the primary motivating concern.” Professor Dolan said: “The rights and well-being of children, parents and society are inextricably linked and complementary. What is good for children is good for their parents and ultimately to the benefit of civic society. This could be a defining moment for children and young people in Ireland. And it needs to be – the best legacy that we can leave the next generation is a commitment that their rights are protected and enhanced, that they have some certainty in an increasingly uncertain world.” As a member of the UNESCO International education network, Professor Dolan was co-author on a report on the proposed referendum earlier this year called, ‘Children’s Rights and the Family’.  The document pointed out that “incorporating a stronger commitment to children’s rights in the constitution would build a stronger culture of children’s rights in Irish society and is in keeping with the state’s international obligations”. -ENDS-

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EU Commissioner to Open Sea2Sky

EU Commissioner to Open Sea2Sky-image

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, will officially open the Irish segment of European Researchers Night, it was announced today. The event takes place on Friday, 28 September, across 800 venues in 320 cities. In Ireland, festivities take place in Galway and Cork, through a celebration called Sea2Sky, organised by NUI Galway. Celebrating the natural physical world from the marine, through the atmosphere to space, the free, family event will see hundreds of researchers share their work with the public. Thousands are expected to visit the Promenade Galway on the night, to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, to watch demonstrations and simulations, to exchange ideas and get to know the researchers. Sea2Sky is organised by NUI Galway, with huge support from partners the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria, and CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. While school visits will take place throughout the day, according to the programme published today, at 3pm Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will officially open the evening event to coincide with events starting right across Europe. Chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, a lecturer in physics, says: “We are thrilled to have Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn officially opening this European-wide event. It is an exciting and important time to celebrate Ireland’s reputation and involvement in research, and our significant track record in leading European science projects.” This year, Sea2Sky is linking up with the Galway Science Forum’s exhibition about the work of CERN – Accelerating Science. This exhibition, sponsored by Boston Scientific in partnership with NUI Galway, will show how CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can help us understand fundamental questions about the origins of the universe. Last year, some 10,000 people came to the Sea2Sky event, and the plan is for an even bigger event this year, with highlights including the CERN exhibit, 3D tours of the universe and tours of the aquarium. The Galway Bay Hotel, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria will be the three venues in Salthill Galway, with events also taking place in CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. As part of the European Researchers Night 2012 organisers of the Sea2Sky event are asking all young photographers to submit photographs to the free competition entitled ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’. Open to students of all ages across Irish primary and post-primary schools, the aim is to encourage talented young photographers to capture unique moments incorporating Marine, Atmosphere and Astronomy. To view the full programme, or for more information, visit www.sea2sky.ie -ends-

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Technology Conference at a Cellular Level

Technology Conference at a Cellular Level-image

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The latest developments in technologies for measuring and analysing cells will be discussed at NUI Galway in November at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society. Flow cytometry is routinely used in scientific research and by healthcare practitioners, for example, in diagnosing blood cancers. The conference, now in its eighth year, is organised by the Irish Cytometry Society and is coming to Galway for the first time. As in previous years, the meeting will serve as a joint meeting for flow cytometry, high content screening, microscopy and related technologies. The two day event takes place from 6-7 November, The conference is being organised by the Irish Cytometry Committee, and the local NUI Galway organisers are Dr Siobhan Gaughan of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Dr Shirley Hanley National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). A flow cytometry core facility was recently established in the NCBES. The Facility Director, Professor Rhodri Ceredig and the Facility Senior Technical Officer, Dr Shirley Hanley are excited as the prospective of the upcoming conference. Speaking about the conference Dr Hanley said: “With the recent opening of our state of the art facilities here on campus, we are particularly pleased to host this event and engage with our colleagues from around the world.  Galway is a vibrant hub for academic, research and bioengineering based activities and we look forward to this conference.” The conference will be split into four sessions based around the following themes: stem cell biology; immunology and clinical cytometry; cell cycle and cell proliferation studies and advanced applications including marine, food, micro-particle and mass cytometry.  A line-up of international and Irish-based keynote speakers have been assembled as well as oral and poster presentations from selected clinical and life science researchers. Following the conference, there will be two one-day Flocyte flow cytometry training courses, Nov 8-9, at NUI Galway. For full details, registration and abstract submission visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=158  -ends-

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Leading Light of Med-Tech Innovation to Speak at NUI Galway

Leading Light of Med-Tech Innovation to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 17 September 2012

Dr Tom Fogarty, one of the most influential cardiovascular surgeons in the US and a renowned inventor and entrepreneur, will speak at NUI Galway on Friday, 21 September. Dr Fogarty will address an audience of academics, clinicians and industry personal representatives in a ‘Meet the Expert’ session hosted by BioInnovate Ireland. Launched last year, BioInnovate Ireland is a specialist training and collaboration programme in medical device innovation, modelled on a prestigous Stanford University programme. It is envisaged that BioInnovate will act as a catalyst for enhancing innovation in medical device development within Ireland, and Friday’s event is an opportunity to hear from one of the biggest names in this space. NUI Galway’s Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director of BioInnovate Ireland, commented: “Having someone of the calibre of Tom Fogarty take an interest in Ireland is a testament to the strength and future potential of med-tech innovation here.” During the past forty years, Dr Fogarty has been a founder, chairman or board member of over 30 business and research companies. He founded the Fogarty Institute for Innovation in 2007, a non-profit organisation which provides support for entrepreneurial innovators working on promising new medical therapies. Over the years he has acquired 135 surgical patents, including the ‘industry standard’ Fogarty Balloon Catheter and the widely used Aneurx Stent Graft that replaces open surgery aortic aneurysm. He is the recipient of countless awards and honours, including the Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons and the 2000 Lemelson-MIT prize for Invention and Innovation. Dr Fogarty was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in December 2001 The BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme is delivered by a consortium of four Higher Education Institutions which include NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Dublin City University and University College Cork. This initiative has received funding and support from Enterprise Ireland and several key medical device players including: Medtronic, Creganna-Tactx Medical, Lake Region Medical, Boston Scientific and SteriPack. The talk begins at 3.30pm, followed by a discussion and a questions and answers session. Interested parties should contact BioInnovate Ireland (info@bioinnovate.ie) to register. -ends-

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New Ballina Visitor Centre to Showcase the Life and Work of former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson

New Ballina Visitor Centre to Showcase the Life and Work of former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson-image

Monday, 17 September 2012

In an exciting new development for the West plans have been unveiled to establish a Mary Robinson Centre in her home town of Ballina. The Centre is to be established at Mary Robinson’s birthplace in Victoria House, on the banks of the River Moy, and will include both a Visitor Centre and an academic research centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on scholarly research and education in the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. This new initiative came about following an approach by Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council to the Robinson family, supported by local business people, with the intention of acknowledging the many national and international achievements of the former President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mary Robinson warmly supported the proposal and generously offered to make her complete archive available to the Centre. The proposed Visitor Centre, which is set to open to the public by the end of 2014, will provide a unique cultural tourism resource for Mayo as visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, including her early roots in Ballina. The project will involve the refurbishment of Victoria House, a protected 19th century Georgian house, together with the construction of an Annex to the house. Parts of the house will be recreated to its original condition at the time of Mary Robinson’s birth in 1944. The property at Victoria House, which has been in the Bourke Family for generations, is being made available to the Centre by the owner, Mary’s brother Adrian Bourke, and will be leased in perpetuity. The new development will also include a research and educational study centre, supported by NUI Galway and focused on the fields of Human Rights and Women’s Leadership. Mary Robinson’s archive will be the centrepiece of the educational facility, and as academic partner to the project, NUI Galway will bring researchers and students from all over the world to Ballina to engage with the archive. NUI Galway is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of Human Rights and Gender research, and offers undergraduate degrees and Masters programmes in the area. The University will also advise on the cataloguing and making available of the extensive archive which is valued at over €2.5 million. “The people of Mayo and the West have taught me over the years the true meaning and spirit of Meitheal, and have always been hugely supportive of my journey,” said Mary Robinson. “So I am delighted to respond to this initiative to ensure that my archive benefits Ballina and future generations.” Mary Robinson’s archive is a vast collection illuminating the life and career of one of Ireland’s most distinguished public figures. The archive includes a library of books, and periodicals, Mary Robinson’s personal diaries, working files and detailed records of her career as a champion of human rights and women’s equality. Also included are numerous recordings and manuscripts from her time as President of Ireland. President Jim Browne of NUI Galway commented: “NUI Galway is delighted to be associated with this exciting development. Mary Robinson’s archive is a rich resource for scholars working in the fields of human rights and women’s leadership. Through the University’s internationally recognised Irish Centre for Human Rights and through our Global Women’s Studies Research Cluster, we will use this opportunity to draw in students from around the world to engage with this important archive.” The Mary Robinson Centre will provide a tremendous boost to the tourism economy of Mayo, Ballina, and the wider West of Ireland region. The Centre is expected to attract tourists from Ireland and abroad, members of the public, students and researchers interested in learning more about Mary Robinson’s life and work, and will contribute significantly to the local economy in the years ahead. Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Mr Cyril Burke, said: “I would like to thank the Robinson family for the very generous offer of making the complete archive of Mary Robinson available to the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina.” Mayo County Manager, Mr Peter Hynes, added: “Mayo County Council and Ballina Town Council are delighted to be associated with the Mary Robinson Centre in Ballina. The development presents a fantastic opportunity for Mayo to create a Centre of national and international importance in Mary Robinson’s home town of Ballina.” Mayor of Ballina, Mr Willie Nolan, commented “Ballina Town Council wholeheartedly supports the plan for the Centre and acknowledges the very generous offer from the Robinson family.”  -ends-

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NUI Galway Host Major Study Tour

NUI Galway Host Major Study Tour-image

Monday, 17 September 2012

As part of Tawasol Student Mobility Project, which brings students and academics together for intensive inter-cultural and civic engagement learning opportunities, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway will host a study tour from Sunday, 23 September to Saturday, 6 October. During the two weeks 25 students will participate in a number of academic, community and cultural experiences. The students will meet with academic staff from the University and learn about how service learning is embedded in the curriculum. They will also have the opportunity to speak to Galway students to learn more about the impact of their experiences in community. In addition the students will work for two days in the Galway area to get first hand experiences of contemporary issues facing the community sector in Ireland. Community organisations such as COPE Galway, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, St Vincent de Paul, Deaf Hear and Jigsaw will all share their work with the students and provide real world experience to the students.  In addition the group will visit some cultural areas including the Burren and Cliffs of Moher.  This study tour is part of a three year EU funded Tempus collaboration in which CKI have played a major role in since 2009. The EU Tempus funded project includes five universities from Jordan and the Lebanon with four European university partners including NUI Galway, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, University of Plovdiv in Bulgaria and the University of Roehampton in London. Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator and Academic Staff Developer with CKI at NUI Galway, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the students to get involved with local communities. We also anticipate that about ten NUI Galway students will also participate and engage with our visitors. The students are very interested in engaging with the community through service learning and volunteering.  They also will have experience of engaging with their own communities back home.  This experience is most relevant now as the Arab Spring unfolds.”  For more information on the Tawasol Project visit www.tawasol.org and on the CKI www.nuigalway.ie/cki -ENDS-   

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Open Forum on Agile-Lean Software Development at NUI Galway

Open Forum on Agile-Lean Software Development at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 17 September 2012

NUI Galway’s Lero Research Centre and the Institute of Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy will hold an open forum on Agile-Lean Software Development. Lead by NUI Galway’s Dr Kieran Conboy and Ken Power of Cisco Systems, the forum will take place on Friday, 21 September from 9:30am-1pm. Software development organisations are increasingly using Agile and Lean approaches to product development in an effort to improve how they work and build stronger relationships with their customers. Many of the nuances and complexities of software development mean that while these techniques can bring value and result in significant productivity gains, there are still challenges that must be overcome. This open event is targetted at industry practitioners at all stages of their Agile and Lean adoption. The event will facilitate sharing of challenges, experiences and solutions to Agile and Lean adoption, and provides an opportunity to get practical answers to real software development problems. Dr Kieran Conboy, Senior Lecturer with the Lero Software Engineering Research Centre and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy at NUI Galway said: “The forum will use a combination of hands-on exercises and an open format to foster communication and collaboration among participants. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss topics of interest and relevance to their own Agile and Lean adoption.” Attendance is free, but places are limited so registration is required. Companies or individuals actively involved in Agile and/or Lean software development should register your interest before Thursday, 20 September by emailing Lorraine Morgan at lorraine.morgan@nuigalway.ie or by phone at 091 492662. -ENDS-

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Research Success and Academic Reputation Sees NUI Galway Rise in International Rankings

Research Success and Academic Reputation Sees NUI Galway Rise in International Rankings-image

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Research output and academic reputation has seen NUI Galway secure the biggest boost among Irish universities in world rankings announced today. With only two Irish universities improving their world ranking, NUI Galway witnessed the greatest rise in position, increasing 11 places. NUI Galway is now ranked 287 in the QS World University Rankings 2012/2013. In the same rankings, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) leapfrogged University of Cambridge and Harvard University, to become the number one university. “This is very good news for NUI Galway,” explains its President Dr Jim Browne. “We have experienced huge cuts in overallfunding at third-level in Ireland, while student numbers have continued to rise. Despite this, our university has gone against the tide to secure a marked improvement in these very competitive rankings. This is a testament to our high standards in teaching and research, and the continued dedication of our staff at NUI Galway.” The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top 700 universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. It is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide. The rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” -ends- Dul Chun Cinn OÉ Gaillimh sna Ranguithe Idirnáisiúnta de bharr Aschur Taighde agus Cáil Acadúil De bharr aschur taighde agus cáil acadúil OÉ Gaillimh tá an borradh is mó tagtha faoin Ollscoil seo thar aon Ollscoil eile in Éirinn sna ranguithe domhanda a fógraíodh inniu. Ní dhearna ach dhá ollscoil in Éirinn dul chun cinn sna ranguithe domhanda, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh a rinne an dul chun cinn is mó, ag ardú 11 áit. Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa 287ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoileanna Bliantúla an Domhain QS 2012/2013. Sna ranguithe céanna, chuaigh Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chun tosaigh ar Ollscoil Cambridge agus ar Ollscoil Harvard, chun an chéad áit a bhaint amach ar domhan. “Dea-scéala iontach é seo do OÉ Gaillimh,” a mhínigh an tUachtarán, an Dr Jim Browne. “Tá gearradh siar uafásach déanta ar mhaoiniú ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn, agus tá líon na mac léinn ag dul i méid i gcónaí. D’ainneoin seo, tá ollscoil s’againne ag dul ó neart go neart sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is léiriú é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard teagaisc agus taighde atá againn agus tiomantas leanúnach na foirne in OÉ Gaillimh.” Tábla sraithe bliantúil iad Ranguithe Ollscoileanna an Domhain QS ina bhfuil na 700 ollscoil is fearr ar domhan agus tá sé ar cheann de na ranguithe is fearr aithne agus is mó a bhfuil cáil air ar domhan. Úsáideann mic léinn reatha agus mic léinn a bhfuil suim acu in ollscoil, lucht gairmiúil ollscoileanna agus rialtais ar fud an domhain na ranguithe seo. Tá na ranguithe bunaithe ar na ceithre phríomhthaca, taighde, teagasc, infhostaitheacht agus idirnáisiúnú. Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éirinn ag infheistiú sna hollscoileanna chun a bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear na ranguithe chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a ligean isteach. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.” -críoch-

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Can Your Mobile Phone Help You Get Fit?

Can Your Mobile Phone Help You Get Fit?-image

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Can your mobile phone help you get fit? A former White House fitness expert will pose this question at the fifth annual Medicine 2.0 Congress which opens in Harvard Medical School, Boston, tomorrow. Ted Vickey is a PhD researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at National University of Ireland Galway. He will tell delegates that “understanding one’s social network may be one key to better health”. “Rather than surfing in the ocean, we are surfing the web. Rather than an outdoor game of tennis under the sun, we are inside our homes playing online virtual tennis on our Wii. People drive their cars to the gym and then take the escalator to the front door rather than walking and taking the stairs,” explains Vickey. “But what if technology could be the solution to our problem? What if our mobile phones could track our every step, provide healthy tips during the day, even persuade or motivate us when we need it most? This dream is now a reality all across the globe and it is called Mobile Health.” There are an estimated 13,000 health related apps in the iTunes, everything from monitoring blood pressure to tweeting body weight to tracking sleep cycles. As part of his PhD research, Vickey and his colleagues at National University of Ireland Galway have collected over 4.5 million tweets sent via mobile fitness applications from around the world. These were then categorized into different classifications, in an attempt to understand correlations between online social networking and effective exercise motivation and adherence. Studies have indicated that lack of motivation is a key factor in why a person does not exercise. “Mobile fitness apps not only allow for the sharing of information between user and health care providers, but also with a user’s friends. These self-monitoring units will help change the face of health care around the globe”, said Vickey. Vickey’s paper ‘Estimating the Long Term Effectiveness of Mobile Fitness Apps and Exercise Motivation’ has been shortlisted for the iMedicalApps-Medicine 2.0 mHealth Research Award. Established in 2003 by National University Ireland Galway and Science Foundation Ireland, DERI has now grown to become the world’s largest semantic web research institute. It engages with companies, from start-ups through to multinationals, to develop new web solutions. -ends-

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NUI Galway Alumni All-Ireland Final Golf Outing

NUI Galway Alumni All-Ireland Final Golf Outing-image

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

NUI Galway graduates and friends will hold their annual All-Ireland golf outing in Mullingar Golf Club on Friday, 21 September. The event features a unique perpetual trophy, created by NUI Galway graduate John Coll, one of the country’s most renowned sculptors. RTÉ Presenter, event organiser and NUI Galway graduate Seán O’Rourke, said: “The All-Ireland golf outing is an ideal way to meet up with graduates old and new. It promises to be a wonderful event and we hope as many alumni and friends as possible join us in Mullingar.” The entry fee of €40 includes green fees, prizes and dinner that evening. Bookings and further details available from NUI Galway Alumni Office on 091 493750 or online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -ENDS-

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