Past Events

November 2012’s 2nd Alchemist Cafe

Balancing the scales in the global land-use marketplace

Our planet supports over 7 billion people and this is increasing by at least 135 additional people a minute – every minute of every day. This has dramatic consequences for the Earth, especially our land. The land is where most of us live most of the time. It feeds and waters us, clothes and houses us, meets much of our energy demands and plays a critical role in shaping Earth’s climate system – and we don’t make any more of it. Land is pretty much a finite non-renewable resource.

According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (among others) 60% of the world’s major ecosystem goods and services have already been degraded or are used unsustainably. If we want to avoid a mismatch between resource use and regenerative capacity and avoid tipping points beyond which return and recovery become impossible then there are hard decisions to be made in the land-use marketplace. Do we use land to produce food? Or fibre? Or fuel? Do we use the land as a carbon sink, a hydrologic reservoir or protect it to preserve biological diversity?

International (and national) environmental policies are attempting to balance the scales between use and abuse of the land. These stand more chance of success if they are informed by accurate, accountable and timely evidence. Earth imaging satellites have been gathering such evidence for over 40 years. This talk introduces some of the policies that impact land-use on the global scale and highlights the role of Earth-imaging satellites in responding to these.

Alan Belward works at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Italy where he is Head of the Land Resource Management Unit – a research team providing information for European policies dealing with terrestrial environment and development-aid issues. His research interests focus on monitoring terrestrial ecosystem dynamics from the analysis of satellite remote sensing data for natural resource management, for assessing climate change impacts and for the conservation and use of biological diversity.

He has served on numerous international science teams, including work for the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme and the Global Climate Observing System. He is currently a member of the NASA and USGS Landsat Data Continuity Mission Science Team and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 Mission Advisory Group. He is also a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Vienna where he teaches Environmental Technologies and International Affairs.

Date: Wednesday 21st November 2012
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering

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College essay examples

College essay examples and why you need them

They say, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and that is rightly so. However, a pen itself doesn’t make you a good writer, especially when it comes to different types of college essays. If you want to create a successful paper and to get a high grade, you need to have certain writing and research skills. Moreover, it is not only about writing; it is also about formatting and editing. After all, you won’t achieve the desired result in case your work is poorly formatted or contains grammar and punctuation mistakes. So the question is how to write a good college essay if you don’t have enough experience in writing? Obviously, you need to use college essay examples from Snappy Essay !

How free college essay examples can help you write your own paper

College essay examples can:

  • help you find a good topic for your own essay;
  • give you a hint on how and where to find reliable sources;
  • show you how to properly use different formats;
  • demonstrate a variety of writing styles;
  • help you structure your essay in the right way;
  • provide you with a new vocabulary you can use in writing;
  • show you a new direction for research.

Moreover, using free college essay examples, you can learn what sources can be considered primary, how to correctly construct sentences, where it is better to present evidence, and how to support your thesis statement. In this way, if you don’t know how to write or how to start your college essay, do not hesitate to use available examples. Be sure, once you look over several well-written papers, your task will become far less challenging!

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October 2012’s Alchemist Cafe

Mathsweek 2012: Alan Turing & Maths Jam

Now in its 7th year Maths Week is going from strength to strength. The cafe has hosted events during the event since 2007 (almost from the start) and 2012 is no different. This year we will have Dr Colin Wright and the wonderful guys and gals from MathsJam on the night so you can scratch your maths itch.

Alan Turing is known to some for his work during the war on breaking the Enigma cipher and helping to read enemy messages. In this talk Colin will look at the work involved, the challenges, some of the history, and some of his other, often neglected contributions.



Alan Turing sculpture at Bletchley Park by Chris Brown

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” and other topics on mathematics and science. Colin also enjoys sailing small boats and playing bridge, although not (so far) at the same time.

Before and after Colin you can talk to MathsJam. MathsJam is a chance for anyone to join the fun and get together in a relaxed social atmosphere. It is for people of all ages, backgrounds, education and ability, all that’s required is an interest in and enthusiasm for maths. The Dublin branch is one of over 25 cities that host these events and they all link up on Twitter to share puzzles. They have their meetings from 7pm on the second last Tuesday of every month. To sign up for information, just send an email to dublin@mathsjam.com to receive updates.

Date: Tuesday 16th October 2012
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is part of Maths Week in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering

The making of the videos was supported by Dublin City of Science 2012

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September 2012’s Alchemist Cafe

The Future of Antarctica

What does the future (or perhaps futures) hold for Antarctica? Can we be confident that science and international co-operation will continue to prevail under the terms of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty?

Or do we need to face up to some pressing issues regarding unresolved territorial claims, resource potential and exploitation, ongoing environmental change, and growing anxieties about Asian countries such as China and India which may well unsettle hopes for a peaceful future for Antarctica.

Klaus Dodds is Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway, University of London and editor of The Geographical Journal. He is author of The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2012) and Pink Ice: Britain and the South Atlantic Empire (I B Tauris 2002). His next book, co-authored with Mark Nuttall, will be published by Polity in 2013 and entitled Scramble for the Poles? Contemporary Geopolitics of the Arctic and Antarctic.
Sea Ice and Icebergs off East Antarctica courtesy of NASA

Date: Tuesday 18th September 2012
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering

The making of this video was supported by Dublin City of Science 2012

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The 3rd Alchemist Aperitif

The Alchemist Cafe and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA) are hosting the Alchemist Aperitifs, three evenings of open conversation and debates with speakers who are taking part in the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF). They will be held on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July in the Kudos Bar of The Clarion Hotel in the IFSC.

This second evening will be chaired by Sabine Louet, and features:

Frank Close from the University of Oxford on the search for the Higgs boson.

Sara Tegami of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics discussing the use of physics in the battle against cancer.

Jean-Patrick Connerade, Imperial College London, talking about poetry and science.

Date: Friday 13th July 2012
Location: Kudos Bar, The Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1, near the Mayor Square Luas stop.
Time: 6:45pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL, Discover Science & Engineering and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA).

The flyer for the Alchemist Aperitifs can be downloaded from here.

For details on all of the Alchemist Aperitifs see here.


This video was created in association with Dublin City of Science 2012

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The 2nd Alchemist Aperitif

The Alchemist Cafe and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA) are hosting the Alchemist Aperitifs, three evenings of open conversation and debates with speakers who are taking part in the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF). They will be held on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July in the Kudos Bar of The Clarion Hotel in the IFSC.

This second evening will be chaired by the science journalist Claire O’Connell and features:

Melissa Anderson from the University of Minnesota talking about codes of conduct for scientists.

Ellen Hazelkorn of the Dublin Institute of technology reflecting on the relevance of university rankings.

The scientist, author and blogger Pam Ronald from the University of California Davis discussing the challenges of feeding the world’s population.

Date: Thursday 12th July 2012
Location: Kudos Bar, The Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1, near the Mayor Square Luas stop.
Time: 6:45pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL, Discover Science & Engineering and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA).

The flyer for the Alchemist Aperitifs can be downloaded from here.

For details on all of the Alchemist Aperitifs see here.


This video was created in association with Dublin City of Science 2012

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The 1st Alchemist Aperitif

The Alchemist Cafe and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA) are hosting the Alchemist Aperitifs, three evenings of open conversation and debates with speakers who are taking part in the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF). They will be held on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July in the Kudos Bar of The Clarion Hotel in the IFSC.

This first evening will be chaired by the science writer Mary Mulvihill and features:

Lone Frank, the Danish science writer and author of “My Beautiful Genome”. Lone will be talking about changes in human identity due to developments in genetic science.

Alaa Ibrahim, a physicist at the American University Cairo, will discuss how scientist know what they know.

Michele Garfinkel, the science policy director at the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), tackling the policy issues in performance enhancing drugs.

Date: Wednesday 11th July 2012
Location: Kudos Bar, The Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1, near the Mayor Square Luas stop.
Time: 6:45pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL, Discover Science & Engineering and the Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association (ISTJA).

The flyer for the Alchemist Aperitifs can be downloaded from here.

For details on all of the Alchemist Aperitifs see here.


This video was created in association with Dublin City of Science 2012

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July 2012’s Alchemist Cafe

Cellphones: The Clinical Lab in Your Pocket

Mobile phones are increasingly being investigated as tools for diagnosing or monitoring a variety of conditions from diabetes to anaemia to infectious disease.

Phones are being used to image results, transmit them on for further analysis and even place them in time and space. Dr Dave Smart, an R&D Scientist from Alere International will give a brief overview of some of the uses which mobile could be put to in enabling people to better manage their health and monitor for disease.

Date: Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Location: Kudos Bar, The Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1, near the Mayor Square Luas stop.
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering.

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May 2012’s Alchemist Cafe

Every day thousands of surgical procedures are performed to replace or repair tissue that has been damaged through disease or trauma. There is now a developing field of tissue engineering that aims to regenerate damaged tissues by using cells from the body with biomaterials to promote and guide the growth of the new tissue.

Prof. Fergal O’Brien from the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering and the Dept. of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland will be discussing the state of play and where the field is going in the future and what he hopes will be areas that will help the field flourish.

You can hear Prof. O’Brien interviewed on Scibernia in April here.

Date: Tuesday 29th May 2012
Location: O’Brien’s Bar, The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering

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March 2012’s Alchemist Cafe

Big Questions, Little Neutrinos

They may travel faster than light and, it is thought, they hold the secret to the creation of the Universe. Whatever Neutrinos are hiding in the next few years they will begin to tell all. Dr Ben Still, from Queen Mary, University of London and the T2K experiment, will talk about what the heck a neutrino is and how we plan to prise the secrets from these most elusive building blocks of Nature.

Date: Tuesday 20th March 2012
Location: The Mercantile, Dame St, Dublin 2
Time: 7:30pm (sharp)
Admission: Free – All Welcome!

Complimentary finger food will be provided.
This event is in association with CPL and Discover Science & Engineering

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