WITSWORDS March 2015
March 2015

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WITS Update

Welcome to WITSWORDS March 2015. In this newsletter we update you on WITS Events and events WITS attended. There are also forthcoming events, STEM and gender news and we close with members' news. 

WITS Event #2 2015 26 February 2015

WITS members gathered for a tour of the LIFELOGGING LAB exhibition at the Science Gallery. Please click here for a review of the tour. Nicholas Felton one of the curators and an exhibitor is speaking at the Science Gallery on 12 March. Do go along, open until 17 April 2015.

WITS was at:
  • Athena Swan HEA project launch 5 February.  This HEA project to support gender equality in STEMM academic departments was launched by Minister for Education and Skills on 5 February 2015. More information here.
  • TCD International Women's Week TCD celebrated International Women’s Week with a great programme of events. Good to see technology and coding part of it.  
  • NWCI Launch of Better Boards Better Business 3 March
  • ESB Internal International Women's Day event 5 March WITS was delighted to attend the ESB celebration of IWD on 5 March. It was a stimulating panel discussion on Women in STEM with Niamh Shaw (actor/scientist and WITS member), Liz Waters (An Cosan), Donal Flynn and Carina Furlong. Sarah Claxton (ESB) was the Chair. ESB is a corporate member of WITS. 
  • Accenture IWD Showcase and event Dublin Convention Centre 6 March WITS had a stand at the Accenture Showcase which is part of their IWD celebrations. The latest Accenture research on leadership was launched and there were panel discussions on leadership and start ups. The photograph is from the event. A good morning for women.
  • Limerick City Council honoured Sophie Pierce aviator at a Civic Reception on 6 March. Sophie Pierce was part of WITS 1997 book Stars, Shells and Bluebells (now out of print). Thanks to WITS member Ita Richardson.
WITS and International Women's Day 2015
As you can see WITS celebrated #IWD2015 and these events all help raise the profile of WITS.

WITS Membership 2015
We are delighted to welcome our student affiliate members. Please renew your WITS membership for 2015 here.

Dates for your diary - WITS and STEM events 2015

There are lots of STEM events in the coming weeks.

WITS Executive meeting 18 March 2015 6.30 pm Science Gallery
The next meeting of the WITS Executive.

WITS Events
  • 16 April 2015 WITS and TCD Women in Physics International Year of the Light event     WITS members are invited to our Focus on Women in Light event on April 16 as part of the International Year of Light 2015. It is a two-part event with a seminar and Masterclass aimed (particularly at women) with a particular focus on early career researchers. Attendance is free but registration is requested. More information here.
  • 25 April 2015 #wearehere Unconference to celebrate Tech Week 2015. Information to follow.
STEM Events
March 2015
  • 11 March Boyle medal talk and lecture RDS The Secret Lives of Cells: The thrill of discovery and the joy of exploring our inner universe, Professor Seamus Martin, 2014 Boyle Medal Laureate Places are free but need to be booked here.
  • 12 March Made it Series How to get Funded 7pm in the Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street. Tickets are €10 with a drink and can be purchased at speakers will be from Business to Arts, Linked Finance, Fund It, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Coder Dojo, all discussing the types of funding available to those looking to get their ideas up off the ground.
  • 21 March DCU Girl Hack Day Dublin. This an event for girls 15-17 and they are looking for mentors with coding skills for the day. Please register here and click here for more information. Contact Suzanne Little ( if you have questions about mentoring.
June 2015
  • 18, 19 June Inspire 2015, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin.
  • 20 June Soapbox Science Ulster Museum Belfast. Click here for more information.


2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science UK & Ireland Fellowships - closing date 13 March.

Accelerator Programme Synthetic Biology Companies Cork
Call for applications from women for an accelerator programme based in Cork for synthetic biology companies. It includes up to €70k funding, mentoring, workspace etc - see for more details. Applications need to be in by 14th March.

Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy. A new consultation paper has been issued by the HEA Higher Education Authority. The paper is available here Written submissions are requested by Monday 23 March, 2015 to WITS will be reviewing the paper and making a submission. All feedback welcome to WITS.

Why do women stay in STEM?
Congratulations to Anna Porter. Anna was invited to present her Young Scientist project on Women in STEM to the Oireachtas in February.

Gender news

Women on Boards
This has been a hot topic this month. Minister Simon Coveney couldn't find women for agricultural science boards. the NWCI launched its Better Boards Better Business Better Society guidelines on 3 March. These are very useful guidelines to improve the current numbers.

Everyone can register an interest in serving on a state board here. We would encourage all members to do so. Please note there are going to be vacancies on many boards in higher education over the next twenty four months.  Information about the vacancies is here.

News from members

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

Anyone 4 Science Easter camps thanks to Christine Campbell
Anyone 4 Science are holding 2 day camps in 20 venues over the Easter break. The theme this year is "Eggsperiments" - everything you ever wanted to know about eggs and more. Do eggs make good insulators? What does walking on egg shells mean? are egg shells soluble? These are just some of the questions we will investigate.
The camps are subdivided by age - PicoScientists are aged 4 - 6 years, NanoScientists are 7-9 years and MicroScientists are 10 - 12 years. The camp is packed with hands-on science fun. For more details visit our website
Anyone 4 Science are teaming up with UCC to include children in the celebration of George Boole's Bicentenary celebrations. We are running a maths club in UCC on Saturdays. The next term will start on Saturday April 18th and will run for 6 weeks. For more details visit

Sci-Fest ezine February 2015 now available thanks to Sheila Porter. we wish Sci-Fest all the best for the 2015 competition.
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