WITSWORDS March 2016
March 2016

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WITS Update

Welcome to WITSWORDS March 2016. 

WITS update
WITS was at the Accenture International Women's Day event on 8 March, you can see Mary Carroll and Beliinda Grehan at the WITS stand. We held a pizza party for students in TCD with the TCD School of Physics. We have a new corporate member An Cosan. There was a great response to our geographic reach email and are planning events in Galway, Sligo and hopefully Cork, thank you. The WITS Policy sub-committee continues its work. Read all about this and our upcoming April event below.

WITS2016 Event #3 Student Pizza party with TCD School of Physics 10 March 2016
Thanks to the at least 60 students who attended the WITS and TCD School of Physics pizza party in the Fitzgerald Library (Physics Building) in Trinity on 10 March. The students along with staff from the School of Physics came along to hear about WITS and the gender initiatives in the School of Physics. Kate Reidy WITS Executive and TCD student organised the event with Dr Colm Stephens of TCD Physics, thanks to you both and to TCD Physics for supporting the event. Marion Palmer WITS Chair and Dr Louise Bradley TCD Physics both spoke.
We all enjoyed the pizza and refreshments and the feedback has been great. 

Kate Reidy WITS Exec introduces the pizza party.

WITS policy subcommittee update
Thank you for the feedback on the WITS election manifesto. It supported the WITS opinion piece we were nvited to contribute to the HEA Review of Gender Equality in Higher Education. Thanks to Maria Delaney, Megan Prado, Kate Reidy and Marion Palmer for this work. Anyone interested in contributing to the WITS Policy Sub-committee please email here.

International Women's Day 8 March
WITS celebrated International Women's Day at the Accenture International Women's Day event on 8 March at The Convention Centre Dublin. The theme this year was Being Greater Than. WITS was invited to attend by our corporate member Accenture and we had a stand in the Technology Showcase. Congratulations to Accenture on a wonderful event. 

WITS was listed as one of the professional women's networks by the Irish Times on International Women's Day 8 March. Thanks Sandra O'Connell, evidence of our impact.

New Corporate member An Cosan
WITS is delighted to welcome An Cosan as a corporate member. You can read about An Cosan here. We were delighted to meet Sinead Kelly and Maura McMahon at the Accenture IWD event.

Student reps sought for WITS
Thanks to Laura Murphy, Ciara Maguire and Charlotte Leane for becoming WITS student reps for TCD and for helping at the pizza party in TCD. We'd like to run student events in UCD, UL and anywhere we have student members. Are you a student member of WITS and would you be interested in acting as a student rep? Please email WITS if you are interested.


Dates for your diary - WITS events April 2016

WITS TALK: Careers Focus with Dr Sarah Bourke, CEO Skytek

You are invited to a talk for WITS members and friends by Dr Sarah Bourke, CEO Skytek, and one of the winners of the 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators. Sarah will talk about her own journey, the story of Skytek and enablers and challenges met along the way. Book your place here.

Location:       NDRC
Date & Time: Wednesday 6th April @ 6.30pm
Agenda:        6.30pm - Networking
                    7.00pm - 8.00pm - Talk
                    8.00pm onwards - Networking

WITS Regional Events
WITS members in Galway and Sligo watch out for our regional events. The Galway event will be in late April probably before the next WITSWORDs and the Sligo event is on 11 May.


Transition Year Work Placement request
We have had a request from a 3rd year student looking for work placement in a technology company on Wednesdays for ten weeks from September to December 2016 in Dublin as part of Transition Year. Can anyone offer her such work or any advice about her placement? She enjoys maths and science and will work hard. Please email here if you can help. Congratulations to Amy on her initiative in emailing WITS, we hope we can help. 

On a similar note Smart Futures is developing its Transition Year resources. If  any WITS member can accept 1-2 TY students for work placement they will put your name on the list for any similar requests. There is a TY Expo in Punchestown this coming September 2016 and if any WITS member would like to help as a volunteer for half day or day please email WITS and we'll put you in touch with Donna McCabe of Smart Futures.


Chloe The Computer Scientist is a book for children developed by Dreamers Believers. The book tells the story of Chloe and how she likes computer science. It retails at €5 and can be ordered by emailing, or by messaging the Dreamers Believers Facebook page. Congratulations to Dreamers Believers and thanks to WITS member Ita Richardson for the information.

Responsible Research and Innovation Toolkit
Thanks to our corporate member Jane Chadwick at the Science Gallery for information on theEU wide responsible research and innovation toolkit.  The toolkit  addresses topics such as open access, gender in science, ethics, science education, governance and public engagement. It is designed for individuals as well as institutions involved in research, policy-making, business, education, or civil society organizations.

Dates for your diary
The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 7 April 2016
This competition for students and recent graduates (up to 2 years) has a prize of €10,000 for the winning idea/start-up, as well as crucial mentoring and business supports. More information here and here. Submit your application online here by April 7th.  This is a brilliant opportunity for STEM students and graduates who have a great business idea.

Famelab final 7 April 2016
The Famelab Ireland science communication finals are on at the Science Gallery on Thursday 7 April. You can attend or watch the live streaming. More information here. Best wishes to all the finalists.

AR VR Innovate Croke Park 28 April 2016
This augmented and virtual reality conference and expo may be of interest. They are offering WITS members a discount, please email WITS here if you are interested.  The conference site has a list of speakers and the video from last year will also provide a taste of what to expect.

Dublin Maker 23 July 2016 Merrion Square
Dublin Maker has just opened its call for 2016 projects. Click here to find out more about the evnt and how to submit your project. Put the date in your diary. Laura Tobin WITS Exec member is one of the team for this great event.


Gender news

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016 10 March 2016
Congratulations to Sarah Bourke WITS member on her success at the EU Women Innovators Awards 2016. We're looking forward to her talk on 6 April. Book your place here.

Women in tech whose names we need to know
Congratulations to WITS Exec Vicky Twomey Lee and WITS members Mags Amond and Louise Phelan included in this great list from Silicon Republic.

Introduction: Solving the Equation
Do watch this American Association of University Women (AAUW) video on why there are so few women working in STEM, particularly engineering and computing. More information here.

European Platform of Women Scientists
The latest newsletter may be of interest, click here

2015 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality in Public Life.
The goals of the recommendation can be read here and the full report is online. We hope to explore these further. All feedback welcome to the WITS Policy Sub-committee.

European Institute for Gender Equality Gender Statistics Database
This gender focused database looks well worth exploring and the video tutorial is useful n explaining the database.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards
These awards are for an international business plan competition to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs. Applications open on 27 April 2016 here.

Inspirefest2016 update
Great to see Mary Carty co-founder of Outbox Incubator and Executive Director of Blackstone Launchpad at NUIG is speaking at Inspirefest2016. Marion Palmer WITS Chair was delighted to catch up with Mary at the IWD Accenture event this March.

Membership 2016

We have had a great response to our 2016 membership call, thank you for renewing your WITS membership or for joining WITS. Your membership fee supports WITS activities and our free student affiliate membership. Thank you for your support. 

Renew your WITS membership today to continue to receive the newsletter and information about WITS activities and events. Membership fees for 2016 are the same as for 2015.

Members' News

Accenture Women on Walls - call for artists
Women on Walls is a campaign by Accenture in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy to make women leaders visible. The Academy will display new portraits of the first female members of the Royal Irish Academy, including Phyllis Clinch who has a chapter in WITS Lab Coats and Lace. Irish artists and artists based in Ireland are invited to submit previous work for consideration for this unique commission. To find out more about the subjects of the portraits, or on the submission criteria for artists (closing date 20th April), please see here.
Thanks to our corporate member Accenture for this news.
Coding Grace - Animation & AR Workshop
When: Sat April 2 (10:30 - 16:30)
Where: The Vaults, Dogpatch Labs
An Introduction to 3D scanning through Photogrammetry - Creating realistic, game-ready assets from photographs with Pete Mc Nally & an introduction to ARToolkit with Alex and Sam. You need to know 3DMax, Photoshop and Unity3D in order to attend this workshop.
Price: EUR40 (Student/OAP) / EUR60 (Normal)

NI Science Festival WITS member Dr Triona O'Connell Science Bake-Off 23 February 2016

For any of you who could not make it to the fantastic second year of the NI Science Festival, have a look at this video of highlights: 

WITS member Dr. Tríona O'Connell presented at two events (she appears around the one minute mark in the video). Her main event was "The Great Science Bake Off" at The Dark Horse bar in Belfast's vibrant Cathedral Quarter. Tríona brought the capacity audience on a mouthwatering adventure through the science of food and food preparation techniques, paying homage to her favourite molecular gastronomy pioneer Hervé This. Her Phd research was in glycobiology, so sugar science got some special attention. 
Baking, "the experiment that you can eat", was the main feature of the evening, with Tríona telling us all how to use science to get the perfect crust on our bread loaves. Some attendees brought scientific cakes for the Bake Off contest, which Tríona judged. Her lucky audience got a chance to sample the cakes during the break. The effort and imagination that went into the entries was impressive. There was a pH scale cake whereby the different colours were accurately represented by corresponding more or less acidic separate sponges and flavoured icings bonded together. A sugar paste Bunsen burner crowned one cake and the overall winner was a remarkable cake topped with a model of a dissected white rat, including the Latin name Rattus norvegicus, for bonus marks!

I would heartily recommend heading along to next year's NI Science Festival and also encourage members to put themselves forward as a potential speaker, as the organisers are interested in including people from all over Ireland and beyond.
Belinda Grehan WITS Exec member

We welcome news and profiles from members. If you have events, initiatives or just something you think of interest to WITS members please email WITS and we'll include it in the next newsletter.
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