Feel like stimulating your mind while in Dublin? Visit the Science Gallery, conveniently located within Trinity College. The Gallery’s objective is to engage visitors aged 15-25 with science and technology, but along the way it sparks the interest of everyone who enters its doors. Being in love with art, architecture and design, we didn’t expect to be into science. But as we all know: it all depends on the presentation. Science Gallery Dublin’s approach to any modern-day scientific or social issue is based on hands-on, first-person perspective. Here you can get in touch with movers and shakers of the day, shaping our world and maybe even become one of them.
The Gallery hosts various exhibitions, but we would like to pay particular attention to its workshops and lectures that you can become a part of. An ongoing series of events called “First Up” tells the stories of creative entrepreneurs, revealing how they broke through. It goes beyond a history lesson, or a chance to learn how to overcome difficulties or how to go through challenges. You will hear from the people at the forefront of Irish culture, science and the arts. The lunchtime talks are not “about” someone, but rather are hosted by the ones, who “broke through.” The speakers tell their stories and share their plans. In January and February you can catch biohackers, scientists, educators, writers, theatrical artistic directors, film producers and even the director of the Science Gallery Lynn Scarff herself. This personal approach is great not only for adults who can have specific questions, but also for teenagers who are looking for inspiration to find themselves and decide where to go next.
Talking about teenagers and technology, Dublin teenagers can learn how to build Android apps from scratch with Science Gallery's MAKESHOP’s after-school course where no experience or coding knowledge is required. All you need is a computer! A four-week course for students aged 13-15 will be starting with the simplest app and work their way up to make sophisticated programs. By the end of the course, anyone can bring their own designs to life with a code. We wish we could participate and work on our own app! MAKESHOP courses – another great example of Science Gallery’s “hands-on” approach.
After WikiLeaks, targeted advertising, and living in the world of big data, it may seem that search engines know more about us than we do ourselves. Science Galley Dublin is here to both help us not become paranoid and to teach us how to protect ourselves online. With data becoming one of our most valuable resources and privacy becoming increasingly vulnerable to new technologies, it is more important than ever to be protected from breaches and hackers. Science Gallery yet again gives a chance to “hear it first” – they invite IT and legal professionals to give the best advice on keeping your data safe or what to do if your data has been compromised.
Science Gallery offers a variety of other events on neuroscience, psychology, biochemistry, immunology, climate change… The beauty of the Gallery’s approach is that the events are equally interesting for the Sheldon Coopers out there and for the rest of us, who are not so familiar with the scientific world. Moreover, Science Gallery hosts a variety of not-so-serious events like “Christmas jumper make night”. All revenues from such events goes to various charities (this year – Irish Society for Autism). Science Gallery is generally generous – the entrance is free and a lot of events are for donations.
In 2016, with support from Google, Science Gallery Dublin welcomed over 4000 second-level students and their teachers from all over Ireland free of charge; this year the Gallery will again offer Google Field Trip Days to Irish secondary schools nationwide. It covers the trip, an interactive talk and exhibition tour with hands-on activities for students. Any school can apply and also include a tour of Trinity College and a lunch in the Trinity College Dublin dining hall (not covered but discounted).
Not only school groups, but everyone can visit the café at the Gallery that offers fresh greens and salads, as well as a descent variety for lunch and a delicious dessert menu. It is a great way to end your visit to the Gallery, especially since the café is buzzing and always full of Trinity College students, professors, and us art and (now) science enthusiasts.