The CEO of Midlands Science Jackie Gorman is this year’s winner of the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication Award 2022. This relates to her work in communications relating to science, technology, engineering and maths. This national award recognises an outstanding contribution to the popularisation of science and an individual who raises public awareness of the value of science to human progress. Previous winners include Prof Luke O’Neill, Dr Niamh Shaw and Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.
A graduate of TUS, NUIG and DCU, Jackie has worked in science communications with local development company Midlands Science for the past number of years and her work has involved developing and curating science outreach across the midlands, in a way that makes science accessible and engaging. Speaking about the award, she said “I am honoured to receive this award and equally honoured to get to do this work in the region that I come from and about which I am so passionate. Communicating science is about making it accessible and making sure that such access is equitable. I am truly honoured to receive this award from Science Foundation Ireland. I believe that engaging with science is important for our economy but also our society and a sense of engaged citizenship. I would like in receiving this award to acknowledge the excellent team of trustees, staff and stakeholders that I work with, who contribute so much to what we do.”
Dr Craig Slattery of UCD’s Conway Institute is Chairperson of Midlands Science. He commented “on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am absolutely delighted for Jackie, and wholeheartedly congratulate her on this outstanding achievement. On a personal level, it’s a most fitting tribute to Jackie’s contributions which have enriched the science outreach and public engagement landscape, both locally and nationally. For Midlands Science, Jackie’s award is a massive endorsement of the wonderful work that Jackie and the Team have done, and continue to do with schools, clubs, societies, employers and the wider community across the Midlands.”
In the past number of years, Jackie has pioneered making science outreach more accessible and equitable through work with the Science Capital Research Team of University College London and King’s College London and work with the Medtronic Foundation and the Ireland Funds Private Donor Network among others.