We had the pleasure of attending the annual Science Foundation Ireland Science Summit in Athlone today where Director of the festival, Jackie Gorman, addressed a large audience of like-minded scientists and researchers at one of the summit workshops on ‘Engaging the Public with Impact’.
This year’s summit was attended by 300 members of the science and research community and focused on the theme “Illustrating Impact” including what impact means and the numerous forms of wide-ranging impact from economic impact to societal impact.
Commenting, Jackie Gorman said,
‘Since 2007, Atlantic Corridor has worked on STEM education issues as part of its strategic plan. Relationships and sustaining them are really important – no one writes a cheque or provides resources to a festival or outreach programme for no reason so you have to think of what you are doing as providing a service. Measuring impact of a STEM outreach program can be challenging. Having mechanisms to learn about each other and get together in the way we are doing today will promote the formation of collaborations that will help each programme accomplish more than they could alone.’
This summit provides an important networking platform for SFI researchers to meet with colleagues and allows them to discuss and debate national science policy, relevant issues and progress. We found this to be an excellent way of meeting lots of people from both Ireland and abroad who are involved in similar pursuits as ourselves when it comes to science education promotion and we look forward to reconnecting with some of them again soon.