Vitruvian Man Comes to Tullamore

‘The Vitruvian: Uncovering the Layers of Cancer’ is a body of work by Tullamore local and leading Irish artist, Vincent Devine. It has been co-created with cancer researchers and patient partners at the UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin.

Inspired by the iconic drawing of ‘The Vitruvian Man’ by artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent has created a striking image of an androgynous human to visually map the different perspectives and approaches that researchers use to understand cancer at molecular, cellular, tissue and human levels.

These events will bring the exhibition to life. The artist and up to three cancer researchers and a patient partner will talk about the creative process itself and the ongoing cancer research efforts, highlighting progress in this area.

More than ever before, cancer survivors are living longer and better lives. Cancer researchers in Ireland are contributing to global improvements in cancer outcomes.

The work will be on display in Tullamore’s Esker Arts Centre and more details can be found on

Explore the World of Mammals with Jurassic World: Dominion Adviser Dr Steve Brusatte

The Midlands Science Festival takes place this November and is delighted to welcome back to Tullamore the Sunday Times Best Selling Author Dr Steve Brusatte. Known for his work in palaeontology, his work on National Geographic documentaries and as an adviser to Jurassic World ; Dominion, Steve previously visited Tullamore in 2018 as part of the Midlands Science Festival. He is one of the world’s leading palaeontologists who is making new discoveries through the use of new technologies.  Steve’s amazing work and discoveries have featured on BBC, CNN and National Geographic and he is the author of the Sunday Times Best Seller “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.”

This time in Tullamore, he will be speaking about his new book “The Rise and Reign of the Mammals”, an engaging and engrossing book about the development and evolution of mammals. With multiple contributions to science through his research and publications, he has also done lots of work on discoveries relating to dinosaurs having feathers and on small mammals such as the Repenomamus, a small badger like creature who actually ate dinosaurs, such fossil discoveries have rewritten the prehistoric food chain.

The Midlands Science Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland as part of national Science Week. Taking place from 12th-19th November, the theme for Science Week 2023 is ‘Human?’, which asks people to consider what it means to be human in today’s world, and how the decisions we make today will impact the people and world of the future.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented “ we are delighted to welcome Steve Brusatte back to the midlands again and his new book is just superb for anyone with an interest in nature and natural history. Some mammalian characteristics are very familiar to us all from our school classes in biology, milk production, warm bloodedness and hair but there’s one evolutionary advance that was in its humble way very profound setting us apart from birds, amphibians and  reptiles. The development of a joint in the jaw which gave us the ability to chew triggered a domino chain of changes to mammalian feeding, intelligence, and reproduction. Steve describes this in such brilliantly vivid prose, I was mesmerised by this fact and the book is full of these moments.  Turns out also that your mother was right  – chewing your food is really important !! Steve is an engaging, funny and passionate communicator of science and I would encourage anyone with an interest in nature to attend this event.”

At this event, Steve will be in conversation with well-known wildlife podcaster Ricky Whelan, host of “In Your Nature.” The event is kindly hosted by Offaly Library and Megan Cronly commented “In tandem with Offaly Libraries STEAM programme, Tullamore Library is delighted to host the Midland Science Festival during Science Week 2023.”

Details of this event and others can be found on – events are free but must be pre-booked in advance.

Laois Leads The Way With A Discussion On Ireland’s Climate Future

Ireland’s Climate Future will be the subject of a special event in Portlaoise during Science Week 2023 in November. This event in the Midlands Park Hotel on the evening of November 17th will be chaired by well-known broadcaster Claire O’Brien from Mountmellick. The discussion will include Keith Lambkin who leads the Climate Services Team at Met Eireann and Dr Cian White of the Farm Zero C Project. This project won the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Future Innovator Prize in 2021 for its work on sustainable farming and biodiversity practices.

The event is part of the Midlands Science Festival, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland as part of national Science Week. Taking place from 12th-19th November, the theme for Science Week 2023 is ‘Human?’, which asks people to consider what it means to be human in today’s world, and how the decisions we make today will impact the ;people and world of the future.

This discussion of Ireland’s Climate Future will leave attendees with a profound understanding of the science and solutions we can bring to the climate change challenge and offer a chance for those attending to share their views on this vital issue. Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented; “climate change will affect everything from how we live, how we farm, what we eat and how we travel among a range of other issues. Come along to this event and discuss the issues and how we can affect change together, informed by science and a shared understanding of the kind of climate future we want to see in Ireland. We are looking forward to hearing from all our speakers including local Farming for Nature Ambassador John McHugh. He is a pioneering farmer from  Laois who has successfully integrated conservation practices into his farming methods. His work serves as an example of how agriculture can adapt to meet the challenges of climate change while maintaining productivity and conserving biodiversity. Five years ago in Laois, we had an event on climate change with broadcaster and metrologist Gerard Fleming and it was a packed event with fantastic discussion and we are looking forward to having another great event on climate change in Laois this year” Climate change not only means changes in the average climate such as temperature but also changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events.   One of the biggest challenges facing Ireland is decarbonising agriculture and food production as Ireland’s agri-food sector contributes 37% of country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and the country has committed to cut these by a quarter by 2030. Ireland has also committed to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.  The key question now is how can innovation in food systems accelerate the changes that are needed and how can science help with this change? Agriculture in Ireland has huge ties to social and cultural issues across the country. Farming in Ireland is often passed down through generations and therefore decarbonising agriculture presents a very unique set of challenges. All details of this event and others can be found on and whilst events are free, they must be booked in advance

Drugs of Abuse in 21st Century Ireland – Science, Society & Solutions

The Midlands Science Festival this year will be exploring drugs of abuse in Ireland with a focus on science, society and solutions. With the Citizens Assembly on Drugs Use currently underway in Ireland, this special Science Week event is a timely opportunity to learn more about the scientific and societal issues that drugs and drug use raise. Join us to discuss and debate these important issues as they relate to individuals, families, our communities and wider Irish society.

Our panel of speakers includes:

Dr Richard Maguire, Principal Analyst, Medical Bureau of Road Safety and formerly of the National Drug Treatment Centre

Sean Kinsella, Health And Wellness Coach with SK Life Balance and leading advocate for the Peter McVerry Trust, an expert by experience. He has also undertaken work the Irish Prison Service.

The event will be hosted by leading science communicator and toxicologist Dr Craig Slattery of UCD, on behalf of Midlands Science.

In developing this event, Midlands Science has put a strong focus on both the science of this issue and the lived experience of people. One of our speakers Sean Kinsella is empowering lives through lived experience. With a profound history of overcoming adversity, Sean has emerged as a passionate advocate for personal transformation and growth.

His journey began with a background in sports coaching and management, where he honed his leadership skills and commitment to empowering others. Sean’s unique path led him to work closely with individuals in addiction recovery, prison rehabilitation, and homelessness services.

Today, Sean is the founder of SK Life Balance, a wellness and coaching platform that leverages his journey to motivate and guide individuals towards healthier, happier lives. His engaging motivational talks have resonated with audiences in youth clubs, prisons, and treatment centres, providing hope and inspiration to those facing their own challenges.

Sean’s dedication to community engagement, combined with his love for outdoor pursuits and commitment to personal development, forms the foundation of his work. Whether he’s delivering workshops, coaching sessions, or sharing his story, Sean’s authentic and relatable approach fosters lasting change. His journey of resilience and transformation exemplifies the incredible potential within each of us to rise above life’s obstacles and emerge stronger, happier, and more fulfilled.

Come along to this unique event in Tullamore explore the issues around drugs use and abuse and how it affects us all and how can address these issues through science in our society.