Programme Revealed for ‘Sea2Sky’ European Research Event

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The programme for Ireland’s participation in European Researchers Night, which takes place on 23 September, was officially launched today. Showcasing science on a grand scale, the Irish event, Sea2Sky, takes place in Salthill, Galway. In total, 800 venues across 320 cities in Europe will celebrate this momentous occasion.

Sea2Sky is a free, family-oriented event at which hundreds of scientists will showcase their work in the fields of Marine, Atmospherics and Astronomy. The event will also feature music and entertainment for younger and older visitors. Sea2Sky is being organised by NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria. 

Exhibits throughout the day will allow the public to learn more about whales and dolphins, take a 3D tour of the universe, tour the Galway Atlantaquaria, check-out scientific demonstrations, and take part in a variety of other hands-on activities.

Scientists will be on hand in the main exhibition hall in Leisureland where stands will display areas of science from energy research and marine life to the study of the solar system. Visitors will have a chance to explore the mini-sea exploration vehicle which was used by scientists in the recent discovery of hydrovents deep in the Atlantic. 

Chief organiser, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Shearer, says “This is a very unique opportunity for the public to participate in experiments and demonstrations. The jam-packed programme offers something for people of all ages, and gives children and adults alike the chance to be a scientist for one day.”

Doors to the Galway Atlantaquaria will be open throughout the day, allowing visitors to explore Ireland’s largest splash tank and huge Ray Pool. They will also be able to see the 60 foot long Fin Whale skeleton and get their hands wet in the Touch Pool where experts will help the curious and brave to handle real starfish and crabs. Representatives from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group will also be present to discuss their work.

The walk between the two venues, Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria, will see amateur astronomers and their telescopes stationed along Salthill’s famous Promenade affording amazing views of the night sky after dark.

Local artists will add a theatrical flair during the day as Cups and Crowns Theatre perform ‘Lenny the Water Daughter’, Rab Swannock Fulton will weave tales for young and old with his dramatic storytelling skills, and puppeteer extraordinaire Tommy Baker will put on a show with ‘The Ecological Brothers’.

In the evening adult can participate in a special storytelling session. Also for adults is the opportunity to share their thoughts and learn from experts in the Cafe Scientifique ‘What’s in your Water?’ led by NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Cormican and hosted by renowned broadcaster Leo Enright. After night fall on the beach there will be a dramatic fire show before returning to the main hall for a musical finale to end the event.

Organisers are looking for 70 volunteers to help out on the day to participate in experiments, competitions and quizzes, watch demonstrations and simulations and to exchange ideas with the researchers. A science background is not needed to volunteer as information and training will be given in advance of the event. To sign up for volunteering visit

The Sea2Sky event is funded under the European Union’s Marie Curie Programme and by Discover Science & Engineering. Sea2Sky is a free family event and will take place in Leisureland and Galway Atlantaquaria, Salthill, from 11am-11pm. 

To view the full programme, or for more information, visit




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