"A weed is a plant out of place" is the current exhibition at Lismore Castle Arts Centre running from 3 April – 30 September 2016. Curated by Allegra Pesenti and featuring the work of Anna Atkins, Harry Callahan, Pierpaolo Campanini, Mat Collishaw, Dorothy Cross, Latifa Echakhch, Susan Hartnett, Michael Landy, Mateo Lopez, Maria Sibylla Merian, Adrian Paci, Luisa Rabbia, Jeanne Silverthorne, Philip Taaffe, Emma Tennant, Michael John Whelan and Pae White
More info at Lismore Castle website here
"This exhibition explores the interpretation of weeds by contemporary artists within a socio-historical context. Elegant patterns of weeds and wildflowers in specimen books that date back to the eighteenth century belong to the fascinating intersection between science and art. Examples of these ancient manuscripts and collected specimens accompany the works of today in an eclectic but focused survey and a carefully orchestrated installation. The lush grounds and gardens of Lismore Castle form an integral and crucial part of the exhibition. Nourishment, Michael Landy’s portfolio of twelve etched ‘portraits’ of weeds, was one of the primary incentives for A Weed is a Plant Out of Place, and features in the gallery along with works by other contemporary artists. Vintage photographs by Anna Atkins and Harry Callahan are also included."
About Allegra Pesenti
A native of Milan, Italy, Allegra Pesenti did her undergraduate studies at the École du Louvre and University College London and received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialized in the study of Italian drawings of the 15th and 16th centuries. She began her museums career as an intern in the prints and drawings departments of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, and the Louvre before joining the drawings department of the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1999 as an assistant curator. At the Hammer Museum, where she oversaw the Grunwald Center’s collection of 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists' books dating from the Renaissance to the present, she recently curated the exhibition Zarina: Paper Like Skin, which traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. Among her other exhibitions at the Hammer, all accompanied by publications, were Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972 (2012), Rachel Whiteread Drawings (2010), Gouge: The Modern Woodcut, 1870 to Now (2008), and Extraordinary Exhibitions: Broadsides from the Collection of Ricky Jay (2007). She also initiated a series of artist-curated and collection-based exhibitions at the Hammer, called Houseguest, involving the artists Jennifer Bornstein, Francesca Gabbiani, Frances Stark and William E. Jones (2008-13). Allegra is currently Curator at Large of the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, and her most recent exhibition Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now was co-organised by the Hammer Museum and the Menil Collection.
Melvyn Bragg's "In our Time" featured Boyle in a very good overview of Boyle's life and works. The Robert Boyle Summer School welcomes any initiative to highlight Boyle's life and legacy and highly recommends this programme. It is a great prep for anyone coming to the school this year. And, anyone who enjoyed the episode and wants to learn more is encouraged to come join us in Lismore!
The episode features discussion between Melvyn and guests, leading authorities, Michael Hunter, Anna Marie Roos and Simon Schaffer. Michael spoke at the first RBSS in 2012 and Anna Marie addressed the school in 2013.
A recent study claimed that eating chocolate can lead to faster weight loss. It sounds too good to be true, but it was the finding of a scientific study and was published in the International Archives of medicine. Oh, and by the way it was only for dark chocolate. Sounds too good to be true? Well it also sounds like something a lot of people would want to believe true. Well it is too good to be true - it was a hoax engineered by a John Bohannon (who actually has a science PhD) in association with a German TV programme. To read more about this bittersweet story and why it should be of importance to all in science and wider society see below.
This highlights one of many crucial issues facing science communication which will be addressed at the 4th Robert Boyle Summer School later this month from 25-28th June at Lismore Co. Waterford.
A Scientific Trial
The aim of the aforementioned research was to highlight the problems with diet/nutrition type research and its reporting in the media. The trial was conducted “scientifically”. Subjects were randomly assigned to three groups – low-carb diet, low-carb diet with chocolate and a control group. Weight and various parameters were monitored over the 3-week trial. The result? At the end the chocolate group was found to lose weight 10 % faster.
And why is this a con?
Well, because there were only 15 people in the trial. That would be 5 in each group. Bohannon and collaborators were sure that something among the parameters measured would show some benefit for the chocolate group that could be spun accordingly. The spin was reported in papers and online journals reaching millions around the world.
The public (and journalists it seems) attach a very high credibility to press releases from scientists and scientific institutions. Even more to a published paper reviewed in advance by expert scientists (peer review), after all that has solid validation, doesn’t it? Well, there are a lot, an awful lot, of journals out there with a great range of rigour or care in the review process. This paper was accepted by the journal with no questions.
Career advancement in science is dependent on publications. This has led to an explosion in the number of papers published annually and a growth in journal titles. There is just so much noise out there and in reality probably more papers than could be rigorously reviewed. The leading peer-review journals are not without problems either with flawed papers regularly withdrawn or fully fraudulent research being exposed occasionally. Add to this the manner in which scientific research is communicated on to the public through the media and these are very serious challenges for the whole of society. What must be done?
Robert Boyle Summer School
The oldest scientific journal in the world is 350 years old this year so it is an appropriate time to reflect on the history of scientific publication. It is vital though that we address the problems facing science and the communication of science such as those outlined above. That is why the 4th Robert Boyle Summer School will address this theme, when leading international commentators will come to Lismore Co Waterford later this month. These include Professor Dorothy Bishop from Oxford who has been actively campaigning in this area through her blog. See Dorothy Bishop's blog here.
Full programme and booking details of the Robert Boyle Summer School 25th – 28th June at Lismore can be found at www.robertboyle.ie
The World of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork (1566-1643)
Is an exciting conference about Richard Boyle the "Great Earl of Corke" and the father of Robert Boyle. Richard had an extraordinary and controversial life arriving in Ireland with £27 and rising (through God's Providence) to become probably the richest man in Ireland and Britain.
In this two-day conference scholars from disciplines of history, archaeology and art history evaluate the world of this remarkable man.
Conference at University College Cork 21st-22nd June 2013
The research interests of Dr Anna Marie Roos range over almost all aspects of the early modern period in Britan; particularly anything related to the development of science during this period. The results are quite astonishing. The newly emerging scientific ideas took inspiration from a wide range of previous systems of thought which nowadays seem out of place or even contrary, such as magic and religion. This insight into a wide range of subjects and how they relate to science places her in a unique position to comment on Boyle and what influenced him.
Dr Roos herself is currently a senior lecturer in Lincoln University. She has also contributed to a number of projects for the Royal Society and Oxford University as well as a number of T.V. and radio appearances.
Eoin Gill appeared on Ian Nocter's show on WLR yesterday to speak about the life and significance of Robert Boyle. Lamenting Ireland's negligence of this enormous figure in Irish history, Eoin used the opportunity to give Boyle the attention he richly deserves, exploring his life and his influence on our culture.
A podcast of the interview can be found here, with the interview beginning at 12:30 in the cast. We would encourage everyone to take a listen.
The Waterford Gathering was launched last night with an event aimed at honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion and preservation of Irish heritage. The Robert Boyle Summer School was present at this event and would like to congratulate those who were honored at the event.
One such person was Kate Adie, a foreign correspondent and war reporter who has written for most of the major English and Irish Newspapers as well as acting as the BBC's chief news correspondent, who was awarded a Certificate of Irish Heritage at the event. She is pictured with Sheila Donegan and Micheal McCarthy from The Robert Boyle Summer School.
Historian Dr Michelle DiMeo from Georgia Tech through research on the Boyle-Ranelagh correspondance has discovered extensive activities among the Boyle family in developing, experimenting and sharing of remedies. Michelle will present many of the remedies and outline their use among the Boyles.
Following this scientist Ingrid Hook will examine these remedies in the light of modern science.Ingrid is a pharmacognicist from Trinity College Dublin.
To finish this part of proceedings there will be a guided tour of the Lismore Castle Gardens where in addition to visiting the Jacobean Gardens where Boyle played as a child, visitors will learn about the medicinal plants grown there.
Eoghan and Ruairi impressed the judges with their project "Polydiesel-a novel solution to fuel shortages and disposal of ELPs" in which they converted waste plastic bottles (ELPs - end of life plastics) into fuel oil. They beat off excellent competition from winners of all the other regional finalists. In addition to the national award they will now represent Ireland at Intel ISEF 2012, the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburg in May 2012. The pair had qualified for the finals by winning the Intel Award at Scifest in WIT which was organised by Calmast.
Coordinator of Waterford Scifest, Sheila Donegan welcomed the announcement. "Calmast is delighted to hear of the continuing success of Eoghan and Ruairi with this amazing project, which really captured the imagination of judges at WIT's Scifest."
Calmast's Eoin Gill also added, "congratulations also to Teacher David King who continues a great tradition of science projects at Lismore's Blackwater Community School. It is great to see these students follow in the footsteps of Lismore's Robert Boyle with their scienctific investigations".
Mr King acknowledged the influence of Boyle. " All my students at Blackwater Community School are keenly aware of the importance of Robert Boyle in the history of science and are proud of the town's connection. It is definitely a motivating factor to the students and a big factor in our success over the years in the BT Young Scientist and now winning the highest honours from among several thousand entrants at Scifest. I am particularly delighted for the lads who displayed exceptional innovation in their ideas and ingenuity in their investigations and we would be honoured to display this work and others for the Robert Boyle Festival in our home town"
Calmast would also like to pay tribute to Sheila Porter the founder and manager of SciFest and Intel for the successful running of the festival which allows thousands of pupils around the island the chance to display their scientific investigations. Thanks are aslo due to Discover Science and Engineering and the other sponsors for their support.
Any budding young Robert Boyles who want to follow in Ruairi and Eoghan's footsteps - SciFest 2012 will take place at WIT on Wednesday 25th April
A great evening is in store on Sunday 15 July for the opening of the Robert Boyle Summer School with celebrations at Lismore Castle. Our host Lord Burlington will officially launch the first Annual Robert Boyle Summer School. The evening will also celebrate the granting of the Royal Charter to the Royal Society and acknowledge Boyle's important role in its foundation. The Royal Society is the oldest such learned society in continuous existence and was the most significant body in the establishment of modern science. To explain the importance of the Royal Society one must merely consider some other names involved in its early years: Sir Christopher Wren, Sir William Petty, Robert Hooke, Edmond Halley and Sir Isaac Newton. The first president was William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount Brouncker, who was born just across the Cork border at Castlelyons. The Royal Charter for the Royal Society was signed on 15 July 1662, granted by King Charles II 350 years ago on this day!
Lord Burlington is a collateral descendant of Robert Boyle. His family can boast two of history's greatest scientists: Robert Boyle and Henry Cavendish!
Entry to celebrations by ticket only
Mary Mulvihill was known and loved in Ireland's science awareness community and did so much to raise awareness of Ireland's science / STEM heritage and to promote the role of women in science. She will be remembered at the Robert Boyle Summer School which appropriately will be discussing the past, present and future of scientific publishing.
Mary would have been very interested in the story of Robert Boyle's sister Katherine Lady Ranelagh that will be related on Friday afternoon at 3pm in the historic surroundings of St Carthage's Cathedral in Lismore. Dr Michelle DiMeo will relate Ranelagh's fascinating story and reveal a woman of great intellect and influence. The programme committee have decided to dedicate this session to Mary.
Mary had a wonderful gift of making science amazing and accessible and used it to great effect through her journalism, books and radio programmes. She was also a great advocate for women in science being the founding chair of WITs (Women in Technology and Science).
Mary is survived by her husband Dr Brian Dolan of NUIMaynooth and sisters Anne and Nóirín and wider family. She will be greatly missed by all her friends and all of us in the STEM promotion community. Even though she died all too soon she has left a great legacy in written word and voice. She has had a huge influence on the lives of many in science and that will continue on.
Read some of the tributes written about Mary
See Sean Duke's piece on Mary Here
See Colm Mulcahy's Huffington Post article here
Karlin Lillington in the Irish Times here
The popular RTE broadcaster and historian Myles Dungan will be participating in the Robert Boyle Summer School. Presenter of RTE's The History Show Myles will be participating in the opening ceremonies on Sunday evening and also will be chairing a panel discussion at the Lismore House Hotel on Monday Evening
5 July Dublin
A new stamp issued by An Post commemorates Robert Boyle and the 350th Anniversary of Boyle's Law. See it here
A second stamp marks Dublin European City of Science showing the National Convention Centre where ESOF 2012 will take place next week. Calmast will be running a 90 minute session on promoting maths with some of Europe's top maths popularisers. In addition Calmast will also be coordinating Maths in the City on Friday 13th July
Visitors to the Robert Boyle Summer School in 2015 will get the chance to see a remarkable new exhibition at Lismore Castle Arts which runs from 20 June - 30 August. Lismore Castle Arts are celebrating 10 years presenting visual contemporary art.
Persistence of Objects is the respose of eight remarkable artists: Carol Bove, Gerard Byrne, Duncan Campbell, Steven Claydon, Gabriel Kuri, Basim Magdy, Wolfgang Tillmans and Hayley Tompkins to concrtete objects that defy change.
"These may be objects that have endured through ages or generations, the immutable remnants of previous times – much like the 11th century relics found in St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore – or simple, timeless, constants occurring in nature in the face of radical and dramatic changes in the world they inhabit."
The exhibits are displayed at the Lismore Castle gallery and other locations around the town.
Peter Elmer will address the Robert Boyle Summer School from 4-7th July 2013
The Miraculous Conformist: Valentine Greatrakes, the Body Politic, and the Politics of Healing in Restoration Britain
Oxford University Press 2013
In 1666 Valentine Greatrakes achieved brief but widespread fame as a miracle healer. Dubbed the 'Stroker', he is widely believed to have touched and cured thousands of men, women, and children suffering from a large range of acute diseases and chronic conditions. His actions attracted the attention of the King, Charles II, as well as other eminent figures at court and in the various institutions of government and learning, including the newly founded Royal Society. However, there was little consensus as to the nature and origin of his gift and, following a brief period of intense lobbying on his behalf, he retired to Ireland and relative obscurity.
Most histories of this period rarely grant the strange events surrounding the appearance of Greatrakes much more than an occasional footnote. Here, however, for the first time the compelling story of Greatrakes the man, and his place in the history of seventeenth-century Britain, is told in full for the first time. Based on extensive research in Irish and English archives, it reveals a fascinating account of one man's engagement with, and response to, some of the most important events of the period, including the Irish Rebellion of 1641, the English civil wars, the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland, and the Restoration of 1660. In the process, it shows how Greatrakes' claims to heal the bodies of the sick and maimed were in large part a response to broader divisions within the fractured body politic of Britain - an approach that was enthusiastically received by many prominent figures in church and state who were eager to seek reconciliation and rapprochement in the early years of the Restoration.About the Author
Following a seventeen-year career at the Open University as a lecturer in the History department, Dr Peter Elmer is now employed as a Senior Research Fellow on a five-year Wellcome funded project at the University of Exeter which aims to create a comprehensive and interactive database of medical practitioners in early modern England, Wales and Ireland. His research is focused on early modern medicine, and its relationship to broader religious and political issues, with a particular emphasis on the role of magic and witchcraft in early modern British society.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Katherine Boyle, later Lady Ranelagh, longtime collaborator and sister of Robert Boyle. A special commemorative plaque will be unveiled by Dr Michelle Di Meo at the entrance to Lismore Castle on Saturday 27th June at 5pm. This special unveiling is open to all members of the public and is completely free.
Preceding this unveiling, at 4.30 pm in Lismore Heritage Centre there will be a free presentation on the work of the National Committee for Commemorative Plaques for Science and Technology (NCCPST), presented by Dr Brian Smyth, the Chair of the NCCPST.
Sunday afternoon presents an opportunity unwind after the events of the weekend. The Blackwater Valley is an idea location to think on Boyle’s legacy and the other topics explored throughout the weekend.
Why not avail of the rich built and natural heritage in the Blackwater Valley surrounding Lismore? Overlooking the river Blackwater is the Fitzgerald ancestral home. Dromana House is celebrating 800 years of its establishment this summer and is well worth a trip (www.dromanahouse.com), boasting walled gardens, scenic views and much more.
Also on the same garden trail, is the remarkably pretty Tourin House & Gardens. Tourin House boasts a long and fascinating history linked to Marconi and most recently, the Jameson’s (of distillery fame) (http://www.tourin-house.ie/).
We’ll link to many more interesting locations in the river valley over the coming days. Both of the sites suggested here are very close to Lismore and are perfect locations to reflect upon the weekend’s discourse.
There's lots more to do around the Blackwater-- why not try your hand at a Blackwater adventure-- full details on the Discover Lismore website.
Boyle arrived according to his own accounts on the 23 June 1588 with £27 in his pocket a diamond bracelet and ring and rose (by God's Providence) to become the richest man in Ireland and Britain and also to become in 1627, the father of Robert Boyle.
Richard Boyle arrived in Ireland 425 years ago today 23 June.
Robert Boyle Seminar
at the Edward Worth Library, Dublin
Friday 2 December 2011
As space is limited, booking is essential for this one-day seminar.
9.30am: Chair: Professor James Malone, Director of the Robert Boyle Foundation.
Speaker: Professor Michael Hunter (Birkbeck College, London): ‘Robert Boyle’s Early Intellectual Evolution: A Reappraisal’.
Chair: Professor Theodore Hoppen (Professor Emeritus, University of Hull):
Speaker: Ms Sue Hemmens (Marsh’s Library, Dublin): ‘Crow’s Nest and beyond:
chymistry in The Dublin Philosophical Society, 1683-1709’.
Speaker: Dr Michelle DiMeo (Georgia Institute of Technology): ‘Katherine Ranelagh’s Influence on Robert Boyle’s Ethical and Intellectual Thought’.
2.00pm: Chair: Dr Michael John Gorman (Science Gallery, TCD)
Dr Iordan Avramov (The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences): ‘Boyle as Reader’.
Dr Antonio Clericuzio (Università di Cassino), ‘The Organical Motions of Body Fluids’. Robert Boyle’s investigations of human physiology.
4.00pm: Reception and launch of the ‘Alchemy and Chemistry at the Edward Worth Library’ web exhibition.
We are grateful to The Robert Boyle Foundation for sponsoring this seminar.
Dr Elizabethanne Boran,
The Edward Worth Library,
Dr Steevens’ Hospital,
Tel: 00 353 1 635 2215
Award winning documentary maker Fiona Gough followed a group of students from Blackwater Community School in Lismore as they prepared for Scifest at Waterford Institute of Technology in April 2012. The school has an excellent record of participation in Scifest and the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Fiona explores in this documentary the influence of Robert Boyle on these students. It will be broadcast on Waterford local Radio - WLR FM.
Broadcast time 6pm, April 1 2013.
We are still sorting through all the photos and footage we took throughout the event, but rest assured it will all find its way here to the site eventually. For now we are just putting up a sample of the weekend's events, with a promise of more to come over the next few days.
The first wave of photos can be found here.
The Reception of Newton: An international conference at the Edward Worth Library, Dublin
To mark Dublin City of Science 2012 the Worth Library is organising a two-day conference to explore the many facets of Newton’s legacy. In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to the elucidation of the precise nature and scope of Newton’s influence on eighteenth-century science in particular, and on Enlightenment culture more generally. The Edward Worth Library is uniquely positioned to contribute to ongoing reassessment.
The Worth Library at Dr Steeven's Hospital is one of the leseer known treasures of Dublin (and Ireland's) cultural inheritance. An early eighteenth century library belonging to a Dublin physician, Edward Worth (1678-1733), the Library and its holdings bears witness to the spread of newtonianism in Ireland. Worth’s collection reminds us of the range and depth of the newtonian impact on Europe and the crucial role played by second generation newtonians in clarifying, classifying and re-presenting Newton’s ideas.
Organisers: Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian, The Edward Worth Library, Dublin; and Professor Mordechai Feingold (Caltech).
Waterford Historical Society celebrates one of the most celebrated figures in the history of western thought: George (Bishop) Berkeley on Monday 23 June 2014. David berman (Emeritus Professor and Fellow TCD) will give a talk entitled "Berkeley's Philosophy: Pros and Cons."
Bus leaving Waterford Cheshire John's Hill at 6:30 pm
Talk starts 7:30 pm at Dysert Castle
Venue is fittingly Dysert Castle Co Kilkenny Berkeley's onetime home.
Information: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook Philosiphia waterford