Athlone will be hive of activity during Science Week

After two years of online delivery, the Midlands Science Festival returns this year all across the midlands, with a range of activities for all age groups. Running from November 13th to November 20th, highlights of the Midlands Science Festival include a presentation exploring the science of resilience with psychologist Dr Andrew Magee in the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone, a swim in Lough Ree and an adrenaline inducing insight into Formula One Racing.

Dr Andrew Magee is no stranger to the Midlands Science Festival. His virtual lecture in 2020 proved to be one of the most popular online events in the festival that year. In just a few hours his presentation was viewed by 7,500 individuals!! His online lecture offered practical, wise and compassionate advice on managing stress and resilience, all based on science from the field of psychology.

Midlands Science is now delighted to offer the opportunity to attend an in-person event with Dr Magee where he will, with Dr Craig Slattery of UCD, explore what science tells us about stress and resilience. He will provide some advice and tips, based on science, on how to better manage stress and build our own resilience.

As a society, we have shown our resilience and ability to withstand adversity, bouncing back from difficult challenges we face in our daily lives, particularly so over the past few years.” commented Jackie Gorman, CEO Midlands Science. “The theme of this year’s Science Week is infinite possibilities, and we have a wide variety of activities for all ages. We are encouraging parents to get their children involved in the numerous events over the week. The younger generation are the future and science is an important part of a shared better future – helping us to understand our world, inspiring new opportunities, and providing potential solutions” Stressed Jackie Gorman, CEO Midlands Science.

For the more energetic types, you are welcome to join Midlands Science for a Swim Ireland supervised dip and swim at Lough Ree, Coosan Point, Athlone. Following your dip or swim [no pressure, it’s up to you how far you want to go], hot food and refreshments will be served in the Lough Ree Inn and an interview will take place with Catherine Kelly, author of “Blue Spaces”, the best-selling book which explores why we love swimming and water so much.

Midlands Science will be exploring the science of golf with Dr Eoghan O’Neill, a sports psychologist who specialises in golf.  This event takes place in Athlone Golf Club on Monday the 14th of November. Those looking for something more exciting can join Midlands Science for a unique online event with Dr Barry Fitzgerald exploring the science of Formula One racing!

There’s also plenty more on offer including an astronomy night in Lough Boora Parklands, an event exploring the science of beer at Dead Centre brewing and an online event with Diabetes Ireland. The Midlands Science Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, through the Discover Programme. Midlands Science is supported by the Ireland Funds, the Naughton Foundation, the Medtronic Foundation and a range of other corporate and philanthropic supporters. Booking for all events is now open and all details available here.


Throwback to Mental Fitness advice for World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day which celebrates awareness for the global community in an empathetic way, with a unifying voice, helping people to feel hopeful by empowering them to take action and to create lasting change. Today, people from over 150 countries around the world will unite in a fight for mental health education, to create awareness for those who are struggling or know somebody who is.

Back in 2015, we were delighted to have clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy who spoke to students in schools and at a packed out public event all about mental fitness as part of the Midlands Science Festival.

Eddie Murphy said,

‘I am passionate about our mental health and wellbeing. I work in the HSE where I manage a team providing psychology services to young children, teenagers, adults and older adults with emotional, intellectual and physical challenges. I am a clinical psychologist – which is like a GP of emotional health.’

We had some really successful mental fitness events that week and hope that some of the things that were shared on the night helped a few people.   This years theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘Suicide Prevention’, as set by the World Federation for Mental Health.


Minding our Minds – World Mental Health Day

Today marks annual World Mental Health Day which has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world. The day is an opportunity to focus on the increasing need to heighten efforts in support of mental health and to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

The Midlands Science Festival has held a number of events for schools and the public in past years around this subject and we feel it is so important to play our part in ensuring that people know they are not alone and know where they can access supports.

Just last year we were delighted to welcome clinical psychologist, Dr Eddie Murphy to the region where he spoke to a vast number of secondary students (pho to) and also the general public at a separate event all about the science of mental fitness.

The aim with this event was to provide people with a practical toolkit for managing life’s challenges, exploring methods for building up and maintaining mental fitness and a positive outlook. Understanding and tackling the roots to powerful emotions and what keeps them going can free you to live a life away from negativity to one that is focused and positive.

Other events which looked at the science of the mind included some fascinating talks from Professor and chair of Psychology at NUI Galway, Dr Gary Donohoe. Gary is clinically active in mental health service delivery and has addressed public audiences at our festivals on topics such as how the brain works. We look forward to more future similar events as we all work together to promote the importance of mental health and looking after our minds.

Dr.Eddie Provides Valuable Advice to Packed Audiences

We were delighted to have Dr.Eddie Murphy in Tullamore for the day yesterday where he gave four talks over the course of the day and provided people of all ages with tools and tips on how to reduce stress and anxiety and therefore lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Thanks to all who came to the Tullamore Harriers on such  aeddie and kim cold, wet night. It isn’t possible for us to run successful public events without you!

Stressed Out? Try some Friendly Bacteria!

Following on from our piece on Mental Health Awareness last week, according to today’s Irish Examiner, taking a daily probiotic could be an effective way of reducing your stress levels and improving your mental well being.

A study of 22 healthy men found that volunteers who took a probiotic for a month experienced less daily stress than those given a “dummy” placebo supplement.

For full article: to-science-360070.html

The Importance of Minding your Mind..

Mental Health Week 2015 ran nationally and internationally from the 5th – 11th of Oc tober with World Mental Health Day taking place on the 10th Oc tober.

Mental Health Associations, private groups and individuals hosted a range of activities in communities all over Ireland during this time ranging from things like ‘laughter yoga’ and sound meditation to ecotherapy walks and ‘S top Worrying’ workshops.

Although there have been positive developments in service provision in many countries, many people with these types of health difficulties can still face great difficulty in accessing the service they require.

Another key issue surrounding mental health which very sadly still remains is stigma, which can then lead to isolation.

Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. (WHO, 2007)

Mental Health is about :
•How we feel about ourselves
•How we feel about others
•How we are able to meet the demands of life.

Each and everyone of us has a role to play in mental health promotion because in one way or another it is relevant to all of us and mental well-being are basically issues of everyday life.

We will be continuing this theme during the Midlands Science Festival are delighted that Operation Transformation’s clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy will be speaking in schools and at public events for this year’s Midlands Science Festival.

Check events page for more details..