WITSWORDS September 2016
September 2016

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Website Update

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WITS Update

Welcome to WITSWORDS September 2016. 

We hope you had a great summer and look for forward to meeting you at our WITS events between now and December 2016.

WITS update
WITS Galway Python Coding workshop 23 August.

Thanks to Vicky Twomey Lee for leading a great python coding workshop for WITS members in Galway. The events was organised by Sandra Riordan with thanks to the Portershed for hosting the event. Our photo shows Vicky and Sandra with Mary Rodgers of Portershed. Thanks to all who attended, great to read the feedback on Twitter.

WITS website
We have updated the WITS website thanks to Jaine Blayney WITS Exec member and Niamh Rushe. We have added member profiles to each page replacing the Lab Coats and Lace box. The members' area and registration have been removed. We hope you like the changes.

Member Profiles
We are seeking member profiles for the WITS website. Would you like to be featured in the rotating menu? If so please email WITS with a photograph and between 50 and 100 words about yourself.

New corporate member
We are  delighted to welcome our new corporate member MongoDB and look forward to working with for for women in STEM.

WITS Executive Update
Sandra Riordan is joining the Executive to represent our Galway members. Sandra has been leading WITS events this year in Galway. Thank you Sandra. We have updated our Twitter account with a new image and it's great to see that we now have over 2000 followers, a big increase this year. 


Dates for your diary - WITS events September 2016

WITS UCD Pizza Social!
September 29th, 2016 – 17:30-19:30 pm
Red Room (Beside the cinema), UCD, Belfield, Dublin.

Join WITS at our student based event in UCD! Come along to the Red Room beside the cinema for some pizza, an insightful talk about what WITS is, as well as networking and a general chat with the research association of UCD and other WITS student members from UCD and beyond! Find out what it’s really like to work in STEM from the diverse women of WITS.

A great opportunity to get to know other members, (both postgrads, lecturers and other student members will be present) get valuable advice from them on any aspect of course or college life, and become part of the WITS community. Also – who can turn down free pizza? Book now here.

Events planned for the rest of the year:
  • 12 October Talk Dr Julie Phukan, The Charles Institute, UCD. Booking will open shortly.
  •  Workshop Career Planning for STEM workshop Sinead Cullen venue and date tbc.
  • 4 November. The Mary Mulvihill Lecture, Louise Phelan PayPal, Science Gallery 6 pm. 
  • December - the WITS AGM.
Information and booking will be on the WITS website.


The Citizens' Debate on Space for Europe Saturday 10 September, 2016.
This consultation organised by the European Space Agency takes place across Europe this coming Saturday. To find out more click here. The Irish debate is in Cork and organised by the
Camden Palace Hotel Community Arts Centre.

AIB DataHack Saturday 12 November 2016.
The annual AIB DataHack is open to all 3rd level students of STEM and related subjects. With a focus on creative problem-solving, the DataHack consists of two competitions: a Datathon Challenge and a Hackathon Challenge. This year the challenges will be based around the topic of Energy, offering the students a chance to find innovate ways to promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
This is an opportunity to showcase your technical skills, test new research ideas and meet potential collaborators in a friendly and fun environment. The DataHack has a total prize fund of 8,000 Euro, plus spot prizes, refreshments and very cool goodie bags on the day! Check out the AIB Datahack website for more information on the event, how to sign up and to access programming tutorials from the AIB team.

International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP)
This year’s International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program (SSP) took place in Haifa, Israel  This 8-week international, intercultural and interdisciplinary program hosted over 100 participants from all over the globe where they had an opportunity to launch model rockets, attend distinguished lectures by world renowned scientists, engineers and space professionals; and learn about many different aspects of space. The SSP offers participants a unique opportunity to develop a broad knowledge of the space sector – from business to engineering, law to space science and humanities to human performance. Next summer, the SSP will be hosted in Cork Institute of Technology, and this will offer an ideal opportunity to showcase our space sector here in Ireland, as well as increasing awareness of the benefits of space to life here on earth.   Norah Patten WITS member was the Humanities programme chair, learn more about it here.

The photo shows Space Humanities Department field trip to the Mahtesh Ramon crater to simulate the Overview Effect, with Virgin Galactic future astronaut Loretta Whitesides (6th from left).  Team Humanities photo credit Remco Timmermans. 

Gender News

UCC Athena Swan Bronze Award
Congratulations to UCC and the UCC Athena Swan Steering Group on their Athena Swan Bronze award 
this August. The award recongnises UCC's committiment to promoting gender equality in higher education. 
UCC joins Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick as holders of Athena Swan awards. 
Find out more about Athena Swan in Ireland here.

007Ideas Boot Camp 12, 13 September Guinness Enterprise Centre Dublin8.
Calling all entrepreneurs. Have you a start up idea? The 007Ideas Boot camp on 12, 13 September may be of interest. To find out more click here. The boot camp is running in Dublin, Madrid and Osijek in Croatia. Marion Palmer WITS Chair and Niamh Shaw WITS member of STEAMakers are taking part.

News and Items of Interest
Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology
WITS is delighted to hear about SCWIST our Canadian women in STEM colleagues. Do have a look at their website. Thanks to Jane O’Hara for the link.

Gender equality website Department of Justice and Equality
The Department of Justice and Equality has a gender equality website. Do have a look.

Women are Boring
Have a look at this great blog by two postgrads at DCU. It features fascinating research by interesting women and aims to share research by women in all fields of academia. The post on the L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science awards is a good read. Think about writing for Women are Boring - a post on your research for a general audience may be of interest. More information here.

WiSER - All Changed at Trinity College Dublin
You may be interested in this video by WiSER in Trinity. It was made for the TCD Women in Science and Engineering Research department under the guidance of Professor Eileen Drew and gives a sense of academia for women in the 1950s and since. Professor Jane Grimson WITS member is one of the speakers. Thanks to Angie Mezetti for the link.

International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology July 2016
The July issue is available here

A Mighty Girl
This is a site with books, toys etc for smart confident and courageous girls.
The site was founded on the belief that all children should have the opportunity to read books, play with toys, listen to music, and watch movies that offer positive messages about girls and honor their diverse capabilities. WITS agrees, congratulations on a great resource.

Dates for your diary
  • 12-13 September Start-up Boot Camp 007 Ideas Guinness Enterprise Centre, Dublin 8.
  • 11 October Gender Equality in STEMM: The Future is Bright conference at University of Ulster Magee Campus Derry. More information here.

Members' News

Technology Mentors Needed!
An Cosan are currently looking for mentors to support our Tech Army. Our Tech Army are recent graduates from our technology programme who are being trained to deliver workshops in thier local area. We are looking for mentors to support and develop our our Tech Army's confidence in developing their faciliatation and technology skills. For further information contact Sinead Kelly at

Congratulations to Sinead and An Cosan.
An Cosán's technology programme lead by Education Coordinator Sinead Kelly  has been shortlisted by the Irish Internet Association for this year's Best Innovation in Technology for Learning award. The award ceremony is on 7 October.

Understanding Unconscious Bias workshop Mary Carroll
Engineers Ireland are running Mary Carroll's excellent unconscious bias workshop on Wednesday 20 September from 2-5 pm at their headquarters 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4. For more information and to book a place click here.

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 before the end of September 2016 and we'll include it in the next newsletter.
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