Celebrating Dublin's Science Gallery
In our latest Documentary on Newstalk, producers Shaun O’Boyle and Maurice Kelliher present a programme which marks the first 10 years of Science Gallery; a game-changing public gallery space in Dublin that redefined the relationship between science, art, and culture—in ‘Science Gallery: 10 Years of Art Meets Science’.
In 2008, a former car park on Pearse Street, at the edge of Trinity College Dublin, was replaced by a new kind of science museum: Science Gallery Dublin. A world first, Science Gallery has altered the cultural and scientific landscape in Ireland—and internationally.
Before 2008, there was a widespread mistrust of science and scientists in Ireland, despite a massive investment by the government since the 1980s in scientific research. Irish scientists wanted to change that, but still hadn’t figured out the best way to connect with the public on scientific issues.
Unlike most countries, Ireland has never had a traditional science museum, a place to house artefacts of our scientific history or interactive exhibits pointing at our scientific future. Strangely, this has worked in our favour. When the opportunity for Ireland to have its first space dedicated to bringing science to a public audience, we ended up with something far from your typical science museum.
Science Gallery was born at a time when ideas around museums and galleries [and their audiences] were evolving: moving away from large museums and towards smaller spaces, connecting with audiences, ushering in a culture where galleries and museums were in a ‘conversation’ with their audiences. Science was also changing. Scientists were moving away from the strict boundaries that used to enclose each scientific discipline, and instead embracing the potential for discovery and innovation when you break down those barriers and work across those disciplines. In fact, some of the most exciting ideas were coming from collaborations between scientists and those working in the arts and humanities.
So, when Michael John Gorman was appointed as the Founding Director of Science Gallery, he set out to create a space that would capture this new culture of science, culture, and creativity. Science Gallery Dublin became a space (both physically, and intellectually) where science converses with art; and an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events meant that audiences could keep coming back to explore art/science investigations into subjects such as: personal data, love, risk, memory, infection, weather/climate, and trauma.
2018 marked the 10th birthday of Science Gallery in Dublin, a game-changing public space that redefined our relationship with science, art, and culture. As this idea, born in Ireland, becomes a massive international network, we look at how this small gallery on Pearse Street became such an important cultural and scientific space—nationally and globally.
The radio premiere of Science Gallery: 10 Years of Art Meets Science will air on Newstalk on Sunday 10th November 2019 at 7am, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday 16th November at 9pm
Credits: Produced, recorded, and edited by Shaun O’Boyle and Maurice Kelliher (aka Bureau).
The programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Photo: Science Gallery Dublin.
About the producers: Shaun O'Boyle and Maurice Kelliher (aka Bureau) make radio documentaries and podcasts on a diverse range of subjects; and have made programmes for: Documentaries on Newstalk, BBC Radio 4, Science Gallery Dublin, UCD x Dr Judith Harford, Irish Design 2015, LGBT History Month (UK), Inspirefest, Science Gallery International, Festival of Curiosity, Dr Shane Begin x UCD, Science Foundation Ireland, and BBC World Service. Their radio documentaries have been funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, ID 2015, and the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund. In 2016 they were shortlisted for the worldwide Whicker Foundation Audio Achievement Award—for their documentary ‘Prejudice and Pride’.
The BAI Sound And Vision Scheme: Sound and Vision is a funding scheme for television and radio that provides funding in support of high quality programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, and programmes to improve adult literacy. The scheme is managed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.