Midlands Science Festival

Midlands Science Festival

Midlands Science Festival to profile Local Heroes of Climate Action in Abbeyleix

Science Week runs from November 8th to 15th this year and there are lots of events happening across the midlands, including three evening events focusing on climate action in Abbeyleix and the surrounding area.

Science Communicator Dr Niamh Shaw has recently been appointed to work with the community in Abbeyleix in a project which is a partnership between Abbeyleix Tidy Towns, Laois County Council, Creative Ireland Laois and Midlands Science.

On Monday November 9th, Tuesday November 10th and Saturday November 14th at 7pm on each day, Niamh will facilitate a discussion with people who are working in different ways in the local community to address issues of climate change and climate action. Those taking part including Viscount Tom de Vesci, Fr Paddy Byrne, Professor Eric Morgan of Queens University Belfast and ecologist Dr Fiona McGowan as well as people involved in sustainable business and creative activities locally.

Mark Clancy, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns; Robbie Quinn, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns; Catherine Casey, Laois Heritage Officer; Niamh Shaw, Science Communicator in Residence; Mary White, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns; Ann Lawlor, Creative Ireland Laois and Dr Fiona MacGowan, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns at the Community Garden Abbeyleix for a start up meeting for the new Abbeyleix Climate Action Project in partnership with Abbeyleix Tidy Towns.ÊThe initiative is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council and Midlands Science.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

The events will take place live on the Laois Heritage Forum Facebook page here,  starting at 7pm each evening. It’s free to take part and no registration will be required – just tune in.

Dr Shaw commented “I was only recently appointed as science communicator in residence and I can already see that Laois has been busy tackling climate change at a local level for a number of years through a wide range of community activities. I’m delighted to be able to highlight the work of these local climate heroes – scientists, ecologists, beekeepers, gardeners, and community residents. Change and action involves everyone. Over three nights, we will hear from nine local people as they share their stories of engaging locally on climate change and climate action issues. Having strong local links to Laois in my own family, I’m delighted to be part of this project and to help profile all that is happening in Laois on this vital issue.”

Heritage Officer with Laois County Council Catherine Casey said “this year the theme for Science Week is Choosing our Future, focusing on how science can improve our lives now and in the future. The focus is on how science can positively impact our collective futures and help us shape the kind of places we want to live in. Community engagement with issues informed by science such as climate change and action are very important. We are delighted that the vital work happening in Laois will be profiled as part of the Midlands Science Festival and to be working with them again to promote the link between science and how it affects all of our lives and the choices we make .”

Dr. Niamh Shaw Communicator, Engineer and Space Explorer at her home in Blackrock Dublin.
Pic Steve Humphreys (13th June 2018)

People from Abbeyleix have also taken part in a series of short film clips introducing the topic of climate change and what action they are taking to address it – these will be released in the run up to Science Week, on the Facebook pages of Laois Heritage Forum, Creative Laois and Midlands Science. Why not tune in and see who you recognise?

Anyone wanting to know more about the project or to get involved can contact More information can be found here.

A full listing of events for Science Week in the midlands can be found here.