WITS Newsletter July 2014
July 2014

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WITS Update

Welcome to the WITS newsletter for June/July 2014. The next newsletter will be in September with details of WITS events for the rest of the year. 


WITS Top Role Model 2014 for Advocacy

Great news! WITS was awarded the 2014 Top Role Model Award for advocacy as part of the Women Invent Tomorrow campaign Silicon Republic recognised leading women role models in STEM on Monday 30 June at the Guinness Storehouse. The award was presented by Professor Orla Feely chair of the Irish Research Council. Present and past WITS members were invited onstage for the presentation. In the photo are Marion Palmer WITS Chair, Mary Carroll Vice-Chair, Vicky Twomey-Lee and Andreea Wade Executive members, Ena Prosser and Eucharia Meehan past Chairs and Susan McKenna-Lawlor an early member of WITS; for more information click here.

WITS Strategy
The Executive has been working hard on reviewing WITS and planning a strategy for 2014-2017. We would like to say thank you to Mary Carroll for leading us in this process, we will be presenting the strategy work to members at a meeting in October/November and will be asking for your approval at the AGM in December.


Please renew your WITS membership for 2014 here. Thanks to all who have already done so.


Dates for your diary - WITS events 2014


Saturday 30 August 2014 2 pm  Ingenious Ireland walking tour.

Mary Mulvihill or one of the Ingenious Ireland guides will lead us on a scientific walk around Dublin on the 30th of August. The walking tour is about 2 hours long and will start and end at the Science Gallery with networking afterwards. The tour is free to 2014 WITS members and €10 for guests. Watch out for the WITS email in early August.


Overview of events August – December 2014


Science talk – we have invited Professor Helen Sheridan of the TCD School of Pharmacy to give a talk to WITS members and guests in September.
Meeting skills – this is a workshop /seminar on how to use meetings well. This will be led by Marion Palmer and will take place at IADT.



Media Skills workshop – Mary Mulvihill will lead up to 10 WITS members and friends develop core media skills to help them publicise their work, ideas and opinions, as well as publications and events. It will be a  Saturday morning in early October, date and workshop price to be confirmed. This workshop is usually €100. Please register your interest at Booking will open in September.


WITS Strategy update - this will be an evening meeting and the Executive will brief members on the developing WITS strategy and look for the members feedback.


WITS AGM  6 December 2014 am
The AGM will take place on a Saturday morning as last year and we hope that as many members as possible will attend.
Further information and how to book for all these events in the September newsletter.


WITS was at . . .

Pint of Science 19-21 May 2014

The inaugural Pint of Science Festival Ireland took place from the 19-21 May 2014 and was a huge success with all talks fully booked well in advance. The Pint of Science Festival was hosts by a number of venues in Dublin and Cork and the talks/discussions were categorised as follows:The Beautiful MInd, Our Body, Technology and Physics. I attended the Technology Talk on Tues 20 May titled "The Wonders of Computer Science" moderated by Paul Hayes, There were two short presentations - Computational Physics - how nano machines can simplify/accelerate the process of scientific discovery and OralEye - a novel app for smartphones allowing you to get an initial assessment from a dentist on the state of your teeth! Following the presentations there was a lively entertaining fireside chat with Prof Des Higgins, Dr Johnny Walker (not the whiskey!) and Dr Brian Caulfield. The message - it's all about the data - who owns it, who controls it and how we use it! For more info go to Overall a great event and one I hope is repeated next year. Well done to the organisers!  Ann Fitzpatrick

RIA Silvia Giordani Masterclass 5 June 2014

The Royal Irish Academy masterclass on women in science with Silvia Giordani took place on Thursday 5th of June. Silvia discussed her career path to date and offered advice to the twelve PhD students who attended the session. She praised initiatives such as the L'Oreal UNESCO Women in Science fellowships and urged young researchers to be heard and ask questions. Having a good mentor of either gender is important, and when looking for funding and jobs, don't be afraid to ask for what you want, you might just get it.  Triona O’Connell

Silicon Republic Female Founders Forum 30 June 2014 Guinness Storehouse
WITS was well represented at the Female Founders Forum. Thanks to Ann O'Dea and Silicon Republic for the invitation to WITS. We appreciate it.


WITS Members News

Sheila Porter founder, CEO of SciFest and WITS member sent us the link to the recent SciFest ezine. SciFest is a series of one-day science fairs for second-level students hosted locally in schools and at regional level in the Institutes of Technology. In the last seven years almost 25 000 students (with 60% girls) have participated showing the massive enthusiasm for STEM subjects in Irish second-level schools. To find out more about SciFest read the ezine and explore the website

Thanks Sheila for letting WITS know about SciFest and congratulations to you and all at SciFest for this great science competition. It plays an important role in engaging future scientists and engineers in STEM.

Christine Campbell, WITS member, runs science and engineering camps for Teens (13 - 15 yrs), Microscientists (10 - 12 yrs) Nanoscientists (7-9 yrs) and Picoscientists (4 - 6yrs) throughout the summer, across the country from Cork to Dundalk, We are also running fun maths workshops for 9 - 13 year olds in various venues. For more information about the camps and the maths visit our website

They are also looking for franchisees so if you are passionate about science, have a few hours in the afternoons and at weekends and would like to earn a few bob get in touch. Christine is looking for passionate science communicators to run afterschool clubs in their areas. For more details contact Christine  -

Ingenious Ireland looking for tour guides
Mary Mulvihill of Ingenious Ireland is looking for tour guides.  She says:
Guiding a tour is fun, and my current two guides really enjoy it.  You get to tell fascinating stories to people who really want to hear them, get some fresh air and exercise, and meet interesting folk.  As well as the general public, we get bookings from science conferences, corporate groups, TY classes and even the odd hen party.
I need guides who have a background in science (so they understand the stories... and aren’t just learning a script), and who know Dublin well.  My current team includes an expert in Wicklow granites, who has a PhD in geology, and a neurobiology graduate who has worked as a tour guide, TEFL teacher and Science Gallery guide.
Mary needs people who are available to take tours during the working day, occasional evenings and the odd weekend. It might suit a retired science teacher or someone who was retired or self-employed, and would enjoy the occasional outing.  She supplies the content and stories, and employs people by the hour.
Anyone who is interested please email Mary Mulvihill

Coding Grace
For the current list of coding workshops
click here. In July there are workshops on
F#, Python, Robocode and Ruby on Rails.



Do you wish to work in the biopharma industry?
The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) is running part-time accredited training programmes for the currently unemploeyd. Further information about these BioPharma Springboard programmes at

Science: It’s a girl thing
This EU website promotes science for girls. There are dream jobs and videos  of women scientists see and It is now calling on women scientists across Europe to get involved in many ways including making a video profile. If you are interested in getting involved, you can get in contact with them via:
Copyright © 2014 WITS Ireland, All rights reserved.
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