Minister Bruton Launches Dublin City of Science

2012 is the year where science becomes fun, exciting and entertaining for all – Prof. Cunningham

Today (Thursday, 26th January 2012) Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation together with The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague and Dara O’Briain launched Dublin City of Science. They were joined by over 400 guests from the science, culture and arts communities that have joined forces in creating a programme which showcases a fresh approach to science engagement.

Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the launch of Dublin City of Science

Pictured: Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richare Bruton T.D. with the St. Patricks Festival performers Rachel Lally, Vijaya Bateson and Grace Kelly at the launch today (Thursday 26th January 2012) in the Convention Centre Dublin of the Dublin City of Science 2012 Programme and ESOF (Euroscience Science Open Forum), Europe’s largest science meeting which Dublin will host from 11 – 15 July 2012.
Pic: Justin Mac Innes / Mac Innes Photography

The Lord Mayor formally announced the designation of Dublin as City of Science for 2012. At the launch he said ‘We have a great scientific history in Dublin that is known the world over and today is recognition of that rich scientific heritage.  It is about celebrating our yesterdays, today, tomorrow and beyond and it is with great pleasure that I announce Dublin as City of Science for 2012.’

This ‘year of science celebration’ will consist of a programme of over 160 science-related events that cross the worlds of art and culture so as to ensure the accessibility of the various activities.

The Government Minister responsible for Dublin City of Science, Richard Bruton TD, today said ‘As a country we have a long history of scientific achievement, and in the past decade we have built upon that heritage with dramatic improvements in publicly-funded scientific research. As we seek to grow our way out of our difficulties these strengths are key assets, and in the Action Plan for Jobs the Government will be implementing a series of changes to ensure that this research is properly commercialised so that we can turn good ideas into good jobs.

‘Dublin City of Science is a great opportunity for Ireland to show the world that we truly are a centre of scientific excellence. I congratulate all involved and look forward to an exciting programme of events during the year’.

Under the guidance of a Project Team based in the Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser and many individuals volunteering their time from the science, arts and cultural communities, the programme of events has been compiled to break down perceptions of science and related subjects.

A selection of the 160 events were announced today. This includes the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Susan Kirby, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival said ‘St. Patrick’s Festival is thrilled to be collaborating with Dublin City of Science as part of our 2012 festivities. The Festival Parade on March 17th will showcase the joy of discovery and wonder of science using the country’s largest and most visually impactful artistic performance. The public will also explore the science theme at the Festival Treasure Hunt on Bank Holiday Monday, 19th March. The St. Patrick’s Festival is a fitting launch platform for Dublin City of Science’s year-long exciting public engagement programme, and science will come alive in spectacular fashion on the streets of the capital this March.’

Other events include a key Dublin City of Science hub, The Science Gallery. The Science Gallery Founding Director Michael John Gorman spoke about plans for 2012. ‘Dublin City of Science is a fantastic opportunity to ignite passion for science, technology and innovation in Ireland. Throughout 2012, Science Gallery will act as a hub for Dublin City of Science, providing an interface for science with art, technology and design. We're particularly looking forward to ESOF, during which our flagship exhibition for the year, HACK THE CITY, will be in full force. The project, in partnership with IBM, will invite a diverse group of participants from Ireland and beyond to use Dublin as a test-bed for urban innovation. By unlocking the city's infrastructure and true potential, it is set not only to be a highlight of 2012, but to further reinforce Dublin's position as an agile and innovative global capital.’

The Dublin City of Science events are targeted at the general public and vary from a science themed picnic to and orchestral piece from the World Science Festival in New York. The full programme consists of photographic and art exhibitions, several theatre pieces, film festivals, tours, trails and treasure hunts, street performances, science buskers, puppet performances, large-scale interactive installations, experiments, science carnivals and public talks, debates and workshops and even a fashion show!

Stephen Cluxton, Dublin Footballer and Science Teacher and Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, Phd student and Television presenter were also at the Launch today as science ambassadors for 2012 and welcomed this key year for Dublin and the country.

Whilst Dublin is the ‘City of Science’ for 2012, the events planned for the year will take place across the island including Galway, Waterford, Cork and Sligo but to name a few.

The main event for 2012 is ESOF 2012 which takes place in the Convention Centre Dublin in July. Dublin won the right to host this event in a competitive bid process back in 2008. ESOF 2012 is the largest general science meeting in Europe and is held in a different European city every two years.

ESOF 2012 will attract the world’s top scientists to Dublin in July. It is expected that over 5,000 researchers, policy makers and international science media will come to our shores in the summer for ESOF.

Speaking at the Launch Professor Patrick Cunningham, Chief Scientific Adviser spoke about the highlights that ESOF has to offer. ‘We have the world’s top scientists confirmed for the ESOF event in July. Notable keynotes include Craig Venter, Jean-Jacques Dordain of ESA, Marcus du Sautoy, Bob Geldof Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn, freshly minted Nobel prise winner Jules Hoffmann and Rolf Dieter Heuer of CERN. Our very own Dara O’Briain will be significantly involved in a variety of ways at ESOF.

‘I would like to thank Dara for all his time on this project and his future involvement.’

Prof. Cunningham continued: ‘2012 is the year where science becomes fun, exciting and entertaining for all and to show the world that Ireland is series about science’.

One of the significant events at ESOF2012 is the Europe – US Symposium on the Atlantic as a shared resource, organised and chaired by Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute.

This symposium will include major international collaborations between Europe and other geographies.

Dublin Maker Faire, The Ark, Rough Magic Theatre Company and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra were also highlighted during the launch as important examples of what’s on offer for the year ahead.

Dara expressed thanks on behalf of the organisers for the enormous support provided to the ESOF2012, Dublin City of Science Programme by a large number of organisations at a variety of different levels – both nationally and internationally since the bid process began. Particular acknowledgements of support were provided by:The Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, The EU Commission, Forfás, IBM, Intel, Janssen, Science Foundation Ireland, Bosch Stiftung, Eirgrid,  Marine Institute and Dublin City Council.

In addition to those there is a long list of National and International, public bodies, private organisations and individuals – far too numerous to mention individually - for whose support, the team is extremely grateful

Two websites were also launched today for the Dublin City of Science activities and the ESOF 2012 programme.

For more information

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact:
Breda O’Brien, Head of Communications, Phone: +353 1 607 3179 or
+353 87 374 4190, Email:

Photography  - Mac Innes Photography –


Dublin City of Science 2012 comprises a year-long series of science-linked events, the centre-piece of which will be the Euroscience Open Form (ESOF), which will be held in the Convention Centre Dublin from 11-15 July 2012.

ESOF is an interdisciplinary, pan-European meeting, held under the auspices of Euroscience, which aims to:

  • Showcase the latest advances in science and technology
  • Promote a dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy
  • Stimulate and provoke public interest, excitement and debate about science and technology

The event will bring together over 5,000 scientists, business leaders, government officials and international media to discuss the best of European science and to address all of the major global challenges, including Energy, Climate Change, Food and Health.

To celebrate the honour of hosting one of the most prestigious international science events in Dublin, City of Science for 2012, a programme of science related events and activities, will run throughout the year across the island of Ireland.

Dublin was awarded the honour of hosting this event following an open competition in 2008.

The Dublin bid was led by Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Professor Cunningham, with the support of with the support of Forfás, Ireland’s national policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation (  The Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for hosting ESOF 2012 and will coordinate activities and events in the Dublin City of Science 2012 programme with the support of Forfás.