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Fish, Chips, Seaweed and More Marine Topics at Pint of Science Festival

11th May 2024
Pint of Science” global science festival - Over 130 speakers will talk at 45 events in venues extending from Dublin to Dundalk to Athlone to Mulranny, Co Mayo, and free tickets are already available through its website
Pint of Science” global science festival - Over 130 speakers will talk at 45 events in venues extending from Dublin to Dundalk to Athlone to Mulranny, Co Mayo, and free tickets are already available through its website

Fish and chips and biodiversity, how seaweed can be a medicine, and Ireland’s underwater forests are among marine topics which will be discussed at the “Pint of Science” global science festival opening next week.

The three-day event opens in 11 Irish towns and cities from Monday, May 13th until Wednesday, May 15th.

Over 130 speakers will talk at 45 events in venues extending from Dublin to Dundalk to Athlone to Mulranny, Co Mayo, and free tickets are already available through its website.

Ailbhe McGurrin, PhD researcher at University College, DublinAilbhe McGurrin, PhD researcher at University College, Dublin

Among the marine experts are Ailbhe McGurrin, PhD researcher at University College, Dublin, who will talk in Slattery’s, Dublin about seaweed’s benefits as a medicine for the future.

Simon Benson, PhD researcher at Trinity College, Dublin, will speak about Ireland’s underwater forests, and Peter Lahiff, masters’ student at Atlantic Technological University, Galway, will address the ecosystem services provided by seaweed aquaculture.

Simon Benson, PhD researcher at Trinity College, DublinSimon Benson, PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin

Marine Institute participants include Bríd Ó’Connor, who will speak about what to do if your shark lays an egg – as in a scientist’s guide to citizen science.

Bríd O'ConnorBríd O'Connor

Also from the Marine Institute is Julia Calderwood who will discuss fish and chips and biodiversity.

Julia Calderwood Julia Calderwood

The aim of the event is to allow scientists to share their research findings with an audience in a casual setting. Topics addressed by over 100 researchers will cover “everything from anthropology to zoology”, the organisers state.

This year’s Pint of Science will run its first Irish language event and will also provide sign language support.

Pint of Science outreach manager Ciara Varley says that as a registered charity, it is “100% volunteer run and supported by both public and private organisations across Ireland”.

“This year, our team of 65 volunteers comprises students, scientists and science enthusiasts from across Ireland,” she says.

Further details of venues, dates and topics are on the Pint of Science website at

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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