Past Events

October 2016’s Alchemist Café

Juggling-Theory and Practice with Dr. Colin Wright

Maths Week Ireland is in its 11th year and Alchemist Café Dublin is delighted to welcome back Dr. Colin Wright (@ColinTheMathmo), who spoke at our Maths Week event back in 2012. Back then he spoke with us about the essential wartime maths work of Alan Turing in breaking the Enigma code. This time he’s treating us to his performance on juggling and maths.

In this talk Colin demonstrates a selection of the patterns and skills of juggling while at the same time developing a simple method of describing and annotating a class of juggling patterns. By using elementary mathematics these patterns can be classified, leading to a simple way to describe those patterns that are known already, and a technique for discovering new ones.

Juggling has fascinated people for centuries. Seemingly oblivious to gravity, the skilled practitioner will keep several objects in the air at one time, and weave complex patterns that seem to defy analysis.

Colin Wright graduated in 1982 from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Pure Mathematics, and went on to receive his doctorate in 1990 from Cambridge University, England. While at Cambridge he also learned how to fire-breathe, unicycle, juggle and ballroom dance. Since then he has worked as a research mathematician, a computer programmer, and an electronics hardware designer, taking time to give presentations all over the world on “Juggling – Theory and Practice.” Colin also established MathsJam a major annual gathering of people interested in recreational mathematics. He also enjoys sailing small boats.

Colin Wright Juggling Maths

Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016

Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: Doors 7pm, Show 7.30pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided

This event is in association with Maths Week Ireland

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Debunking December 2015’s Alchemist Café

Science Spin

Science in Advertising & Media, as part of Alchemist Café Dublin‘s “Debunking December”

Exhausted with the seasonal parties and hyperexcited shoppers in Dublin city? Come join us at Science Gallery Dublin-an oasis of food for thought (and belly!) this December 17th.
Dr. David R Grimes, cancer-researching physicist at University of Oxford and co-recipient of the 2014 Maddox Prize (for standing up for science) will spark off a discussion on (mis-)communication of science in the media.Advertised false claims of some painkillers were highlighted this week in Australia. In Ireland, TV3 screened a documentary questioning the safety of HPV vaccines. Every day newspapers lead with headlines of the latest “cure” or health scare.Who do we trust for our science, health and technology news? What makes good science journalism? Who judges? Is there any consequence to inaccurate reporting? What do the public want to know?Expect a lively, open discussion of science in the media.
December 2015 Cafe

Date: Thursday 17th December 2015

Location: Science Gallery Dublin, Trinity College, Pearse St, Dublin 2
Time: 6-8pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided

This event is in association with Science Gallery

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November 2015’s Alchemist Café for City of Physics

Is Science Cultural?

City of Physics is a month-long project “bringing science out of the lab and onto the streets”, organised by Trinity College Dublin physics lecturer, Dr. Shane Bergin and University College Dublin mathematics education lecturer, Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin. As part of the celebrations, Alchemist Café Dublin are hosting an open public conversation about the place of science in culture.

This is a timely conversation as the Irish Government are currently drafting Ireland’s first national culture strategy, Culture 2025.

Shane has sparked our café scientifique conversation by saying:

“Science and scientists that do not connect with the culture they are part of miss the point of what science is about.

Is there anyone in Ireland who doesn’t have an opinion on their GAA county team, the government, or Bono’s continuing contributions to save the World? Probably not.

Whether they make you defensive or search for your passport, issues like this are part of our cultural make-up. We own them. And they matter to us. Culture mediates how a society evolves. To be outside it is to act in opposition to it. Is Science outside it?

Shane will join us on the night to give us an introduction to the topic before we open up the conversation for our inclusive and interactive audience discussion.

Da_Vinci's_Anatomical_Man

Date: Tuesday 17th November 2015

Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided

This event is in association with City of Physics and CPL

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October 2015’s Alchemist Café

Illusion of a “Sixth Sense” with mathemagician Andrew Jeffrey

Maths Week Ireland is celebrating its 10th year and Alchemist Café Dublin is delighted to welcome back Andrew Jeffrey, who spoke at our first event hosted as part of national Maths Week back in 2007.

Sorting out science fact from fiction in the public discussion of STEM has been a constant theme at our café scientifique events. Many people claim mind-reading or psychic abilities. Andrew Jeffrey, the mathemagician, claims no such thing, but he does combine mathematics and his five common senses to create the illusion of a sixth sense.

Come and see as Andrew emulates the feats of the world’s greatest mind readers. Warning: explanations will not be given!

Andrew Jeff1

Date: Wednesday 14th October 2015

Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 8:30 pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided

This event is in association with Maths Week Ireland and CPL

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February 2015’s Alchemist Café: Going Viral

We’re going viral this Valentines!

If you’re looking for something different after a sickeningly romantic weekend come along to the Alchemist Cafe where we will be talking to Dermot Walls from DCU about all kinds of biological viruses.

Dermot obtained a BSc in Microbiology and a PhD in Molecular Virology at NUI Galway and went on to study viruses as a CNRS fellow at the Institut Gustave Roussy in France and later at Johns Hopkins University, USA. He has a long-standing interest in viruses – the most abundant life forms on planet earth – from those with ‘hit-and-run’ strategies to those that behave as ‘stowaways’ in the body. Dermot is currently a Senior Lecturer at Dublin City University where his research group has identified ways by which a universally found human virus can contribute to the risk of developing certain types of human cancers.

Date: Tuesday, February 17th 2015
Time: 7.30pm
Location: The Mercantile, Dame Street, Dublin 2
Admission: Free – All welcome! Complimentary finger food provided

Epstein-Barr Virus

 

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Alchemist Café, Tullamore

Once again the Midlands Science Festival has a great variety of events lined up for Science Week. Throughout the week they will be running workshops, exhibitions, talks and everything in between. We are delighted to say that this also includes two evenings of Alchemist Cafés…

A psychologist & a toxicologist walk into a bar…no it’s not a geeky science joke, it’s our alchemist cafe in Tullamore. Gary Donohoe is Head of Psychology at NUIG and is a wonderful science communicator & his participation in this alchemist cafe provides a great opportunity to learn more about the science of the mind.

He will be joined in this alchemist cafe by Craig Slattery, a pharmacologist from UCD who is passionate about science communication. Craig has undertaken ground-breaking research into diabetes, a growing problem in Ireland & he will be speaking about his work. Places are limited so please book early.

Date: Wednesday, November 12th 2014
Time: 8pm
Location: Hugh Lynch’s Bar, Kilbride Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Cost: Free with tickets available on EventBrite

For more information on this and all the other interesting events checkout the Midlands Science Festival Events page.

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Alchemist Café, Athlone

Once again the Midlands Science Festival has a great variety of events lined up for Science Week. Throughout the week they will be running workshops, exhibitions, talks and everything in between. We are delighted to say that this also includes two evenings of Alchemist Cafés…

Join Ireland’s best known scientist Professor Luke O’Neill, an amazing science communicator and Síle Lane of Sense about Science for an evening of discussion and debate about the hot issues in science and how they affect our lives.

Prof Luke O’Neill was a huge hit at last year’s festival and he has recently been named in the top 1% of scientists world-wide due to his ground-breaking work in immunology. Sile Lane is passionate about science and encouraging people to ask for the evidence in a world where it is often difficult to distinguish between science and pseudoscience or clever marketing.

Join these two inspiring science communicators for an entertaining evening of science discovery and discussion. This evening will be chaired by award-winning broadcaster Jonathan McCrea of Newstalk’s Futureproof programme. Places are limited so please book early.

Date: Tuesday, November 11th 2014
Time: 8pm
Location: Athlone IT, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Cost: Free with tickets available on EventBrite

For more information on this and all the other interesting events checkout the Midlands Science Festival Events page.

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October 2014’s Alchemist Café

Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt

Enjoy an evening with the author of the phenomenally successful ‘Murderous Maths” series of books! Kjartan Poskitt is the author of Scholastic’s “Murderous Maths” series which have sold over 1,500,000 copies world wide.

His latest book “Everyday Maths For Grown Ups” is written to help adults who have never quite grasped how sums work. Over the last 10 years he has entertained schools, teacher conferences and theatre audiences with items from his books including strange numbers, bizarre facts, tricks, predictions, flexagons and magic squares, and he has presented numerous science and maths programmes for BBC TV.

Date: Tuesday 14th October 2014
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome! Complimentary Finger Food Provided

This event is part of Maths Week 2014 and is in association with Discover Science & Engineering and CPL

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September 2014’s Alchemist Café

Space Week 2014 Event

We are delighted to be hosting two fantastic speakers in the run up to World Space Week. Créidhe O’Sullivan and Peter Gallagher will be discussing a variety of topics including what happened in the early universe and the merits of funding space exploration.

Dr. Créidhe O’Sullivan graduated with a B.Sc. in Experimental Physics from UCD before completing a PhD in Physics at Cambridge University where she made observations of temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation. She joined the Experimental Physics Department of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 1998 and is a member of the Far-infrared and Submillimetre Space Astrophysics group. The group works on a number of on-going international research programmes into the development of space- and ground-based astronomical instrumentation. Her current projects include cosmic microwave background telescopes, bolometric interferometry and detector arrays. space

Dr. Peter T. Gallagher is a solar physicist and an Associate Professor of Physics at Trinity College Dublin. His research is primarily concerned with understanding the fundamental physics of solar storms and their impacts on Earth. He has a long association with ESA and NASA and leads the Irish LOFAR radio telescope project. His group also works with a number of companies including Skytek Ltd., Lockheed-Martin, and Eirgrid. Peter is a Member of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Member of the American Astronomical Society and Vice-Chair of the Royal Irish Academy‘s Astronomy and Space Research Committee. He was an elected member of ESA’s Solar System Working Group, which is responsible for European Space Agency mission evaluation for 2015-2025.

Date: Tuesday 30th September 2014
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome! Complimentary Finger Food Provided

This event is in association with Discover Science & Engineering and CPL

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January 2014’s Alchemist Café

Robotic Future or Fantasy?Conor McGinn, PhD candidate in TCD Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering will spark an audience discussion of the potential uses, challenges and ethics of robotics research.

Conor’s research is primarily in the design and control of autonomous robotic systems. He has built various robots including an autonomous robotic wheelchair, a 30cm tall biped, a quadrotor and a 400lb rover. Conor founded Trinity Robotics Club and is Secretary of Robotics Ireland, a national organisation established to promote robotics in Ireland.

the thinker1

Date: Tuesday 14th January 2014
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30 pm
Admission: Free – All Welcome! Complimentary Finger Food Provided

This event is in association with Discover Science & Engineering and CPL

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