GMIT Women in Science honoured at Áras an Uachtaráin event

Friday, February 12, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Science lecturers and researchers attended a “Women in Science” celebration hosted by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and Mrs Sabina Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin recently.

Speaking at the reception, President Higgins said: “Present today are women who have excelled, given a lead in science and in its application for the betterment of humanity. St Brigid’s is a story that resounds, in ways, with some of you here today. Many of the obstacles that once stood between women and the pursuit of a career in science have been removed in recent decades. That is a welcome development, but the field of science – or at least in some areas of science – barriers remain to advancement. However, that situation is changing and that is why we are here today: to celebrate the breakthroughs that have been made, and the leading role that women are now playing in scientific research and in industry. As we do so we are committing to make every effort to ensure that even more must be done to enable even greater access and participation by women at all levels of science.

The contribution of women in science is all the more valuable as we work to locate science within a paradigm of sustainability. That is emphasised in the challenges set to us by issues such as climate change, global hunger and environmental degradation. It is in the applied area of science that we see disappointing and unacceptable levels of female participation.

Mr Higgins added: “Science is an important and influential discipline – one which has a pivotal role to play in the great concerns of humanity in our time, and one which has the potential to make the greatest contribution to improving our world. That is why we must keep asking ourselves  why are there so few women in science and why is society being denied the intellectual contribution of so many who could be, but are not, represented in the world of science?"

"Yet at the Young Scientist event hundreds of girls give us projects that are original, of a high intellectual standard and of wonderful applicability."

"Women like you are such important role models. For these students your achievements stand testament to the fact that women today can  choose the subjects and careers they wish to pursue, make their unique and vital inputs at this challenging moment in human history, when scientific research is presenting us with new possibilities to address great challenges.”

The GMIT Women in Science who attened the event are:
Ala El Helali, researcher in GMIT’s GMedTech Centre
Dáire Ni Chatháin, first year student on the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Software Development degree programme
Dr Jean Hughes, lecturer in Chemistry
Annette Cosgrove, lecturer in Computer Science
Dr Heather Lally, lecturer in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology
Dr Deirdre Brophy, researcher and lecturer in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology.