Ireland is a nation where curious minds live, learn and discover. Known as the land of famous writers, actors and musicians, Ireland is also home to esteemed inventors, explorers, scientists and leaders.

Together we shape the future.  Science is part of our past, a past that is often overlooked, an immense part of our present and it is key to our success. There is endless potential still to be realised.  The growing impact of Irish scientific achievement will make a difference in people’s lives, support industry investment, future proof our skill base and involve everyone in the potential of science and innovation.  We will continue to question, imagine, collaborate, discover, answer and create. We will make a difference to Irish society and our economy. More importantly we will make a difference to humankind.

IRELAND: Science Rising.

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Download our Little Book of Irish Science here

October: Energy and Environmental Research in Ireland

Read about the fantastic enivironmental and energy research happening throughout Ireland 

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September: Agriculture Research in Ireland

Learn about some of the fantastic research taking place throughout Ireland in the field of agricultural research

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August: Faces of Sports & Rehabilitation Research

Read about the fantastic research happening throughout Ireland in the field of sports and rehabiliatation

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July: The researchers whose work impacts our lifestyle

Meet a few of the Science Foundation Ireland's Researchers, whose work aims to improve our lifestyle and how we interact with science.

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June: Women/Careers in Science

Explore some of the different careers available through STEM and the women behind these sucess stories.


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May: Faces of Health Research

May aims to shine a spotlight on health and invites you to meet some of the faces of Health Research in Ireland.


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April: Tech Researchers in Ireland

Every month Science Foundation Ireland and #ScienceRising will be highlighting specific areas of scientific excellence and achievement beginning in April with the exciting world of Tech in Ireland.

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3150BC World’s oldest astronomical observatory

A Neolithic chambered burial cairn at Newgrange, County Meath, is aligned precisely with the rising sun on the Winter Solstice – and it’s 1,000 years older than Stonehenge.

560AD Copyright

In a dispute over who rightfully owned the copy of a book of psalms, King Diarmait Mac Cerbhaill gives the first legal ruling on copyright: ‘To every cow her calf, to every book its copy’.

1627 The ‘father of chemistry’

Robert Boyle is born at Lismore Castle, County Waterford. He is remembered for Boyle’s Law, ingenious experiments with an air pump, founding the modern science of chemistry, and much more besides.

1681 Anatomy of an elephant

In a fascinating spectacle, Allen Mullen publicly dissects an elephant that died in a Dublin fire and discovers important anatomical oddities never seen before.

1789 Atomic theory

William Higgins proposes an early atomic theory. He is the first to use letters to denote elements, and lines for chemical bonds.

1817 Artificial fertilisers

Chemically minded doctor James Murray finds a way to make minerals soluble, producing the first artificial fertilisers and inventing ‘Milk of Magnesia’.

1836 The induction coil

Rev Nicholas Callan, Professor of ‘natural philosophy’ at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, invents the induction coil. A replica was exhibited to great amazement in London in 1837.

1843 Quaternions, a new type of algebra

William Rowan Hamilton invents the first ‘rule-breaking’ non-commutative algebra. His ‘quaternions’ describe objects moving in 3D and will later be used to orient satellites and in 3D graphics.

1845 The structure of nebulae

The world’s biggest telescope is built at Birr. Its six-foot mirror sees further than ever before, finally resolving the structure of faint nebulae.

1845 Hypodermic syringe

Francis Rynd in 1845 invented the hollow needle of the Hypodermic Syringe at the Meath Hospital, Dublin. He published his results in the journal Dublin Medical Press and the idea was taken up around the world. The first injection into a live patient was carried out by Rynd on 12 March 1845; it is not recorded whether the patient screamed.

1849 The science of seismology

Engineer Robert Mallet, now acknowledged as the father of seismology, detonates the first controlled seismic explosions and times the shock waves.

1854 The Laws of Thought

George Boole, mathematics professor at Cork’s University College, publishes his magnum opus. His ideas on logic will later lead to digital computing, modern electronics and search engines.

1861 Greenhouse gases

John Tyndall, now acknowledged as the father of the science of climate change, discovers how various gases could warm the planet.

1869 Liquid gases

Thomas Andrews, at Queen’s University Belfast, is the first to make liquid gases, now vital in refrigeration, medicine and industry.

1874 The electron

George Johnstone Stoney proposes a standard unit of electricity and names it the ‘electron’.

1889 The pneumatic tyre

John Boyd Dunlop was born in Scotland but relocated to Belfast to work as a veterinary surgeon. His son, a bike fanatic, complained how uncomfortable riding a bike with solid wheels was. So in 1889 his father invented the pneumatic tyre. The new air filled tyre was so successful that a local bike maker, William Hume, asked to be allowed to use them. He won a competition in Belfast and an entrepreneur, Harvey du Cros, spotted the potential for the tyre and went into business with Dunlop. Within a year, the first Dunlop factory opened in Dublin and the pneumatic tyre revolutionised bike riding.

1889 Nothing travels faster than light

George Francis FitzGerald of Trinity College Dublin proposes this fundamental idea in a letter to physicist Oliver Heaviside.

1914 First effective cancer radiotherapy

Pioneering geophysicist John Joly devises a new radiotherapy technique. Using radon gas, it is much more effective, easier and cheaper than using expensive radium. It becomes known as ‘the Dublin method’.

1929 Benzene is a flat ring

X-ray crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale, later Dame Kathleen, solves the structure of benzene.

1932 Splitting the atom

Ernest Walton, from County Waterford, collaborates with John Cockroft in Cambridge to split the atom. Their work proves Einstein’s equation – e=mc2 – starts the atomic era, and earns them the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics.

1934 Molecular biology

X-ray crystallographer JD Bernal produces the first crystals of an enzyme, starting the study of complex biological molecules and, ultimately, DNA.

1944 What is Life?

Erwin Schrodinger, Professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies from 1940-56, publishes his Dublin lectures. His influential book inspires Crick, Watson and a generation of post-war scientists to study the structure of DNA.

1964 The man who proved Einstein was wrong

Belfast-born John Bell, later a professor at CERN, publishes a new theorem. It proves Einstein was wrong – the world really is quantum and ‘spooky’.

1993 The most efficient foam

Two TCD physicists, Denis Weaire and Robert Phelan, find the most efficient way of packing foam bubbles so far known. Their robust structure inspires the roof design for Beijing’s Olympic pool.

1994 Preventing spina bifida

Dr Peadar Kirke and team discover the vital role folic acid plays in neural-tube defects, work that has helped to greatly reduce the incidence of these life-threatening birth defects.

2015 Roundworm parasites

Donegal-born Dr. William C. Campbell jointly named Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine with Satoshi Omura for the discovery of avermectin. William C Campbell, who was born in Ramelton, Co. Donegal, and colleague Satoshi Omura were jointly awarded half the prize for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.

Innovation 2020

Innovation 2020 is Ireland’s five year strategy on research and development, science and technology.  Innovation 2020 sets out the roadmap for continuing progress towards the goal of making Ireland a Global Innovation Leader, driving a strong sustainable economy and a better society.  The implementation of Innovation 2020 is led by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.



Discover Programme 2015

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#Science Rising - The Campaign

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Ireland - Science Rising

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EXCITED 2016 Launch at Dublin Castle

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What is Smart Futures?

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