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World-renowned scientists to lead DIAS line-up for Dublin Festival of History

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, one of Ireland’s most distinguished scientists, and Professor Luke O’Neill, who has been a prominent commentator on public health and Covid-19, are headlining the programme of events being hosted by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) as part of this year’s Dublin Festival of History.

On Thursday, 10th September at 6pm, world-renowned Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell – who discovered the first pulsar as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, revealing a new tool for solving many mysteries of the cosmos – will give a lecture ‘The Next and Last 100 Years in Astronomy’. The lecture will explore how our understanding of the Universe has evolved and look ahead to what might be ground-breaking areas of astrophysics in the next few decades.

On Wednesday, 16th September at 6pm, Professor Luke O’Neill – world-leading expert on innate immunity and inflammation – will screen his documentary ‘Thinking Outside the Box – Schrödinger in Ireland’ about Erwin Schrödinger’s achievements in Dublin. An online panel discussion on the lasting impact and legacy of Schrödinger´s ‘What is Life?’ lectures and book will follow, featuring Professor O’Neill, Dr. Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Physics Lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology, and Dr. Neasa McGarrigle, science writer, with Martina Quinn, Managing Director of Alice PR & Events, as moderator–.

Both of DIAS’s Dublin Festival of History events are also keynote events on the DIAS2020 programme, which is running all year to mark the 80th anniversary of the Institute’s establishment.

Commenting today (07.09.20), Dr. Eucharia Meehan, CEO and Registrar of DIAS, said: “I am delighted DIAS is participating in the eighth Dublin Festival of History. It is fitting that such a historic institution as our own, which was only the second institute for advanced studies in the world when we were founded in 1940, should play a role in this stimulating history festival. This year, DIAS is celebrating 80 years since our establishment and, as is fitting in such a momentous year, we have coordinated a highly impressive line-up of speakers for the festival.

“Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has contributed immensely to the area of astrophysics with her ground-breaking pulsar discovery. Professor Luke O’Neill, meanwhile, is an acclaimed immunity and inflammation expert, who has been at the forefront of public health discussion on Covid-19. I am sure both their events will engage the public in some fascinating and thought-provoking topics.”

The Dublin Festival of History, organised by Dublin City Libraries, has moved exclusively online for the first time in 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it will still play host to an international and domestic line-up of speakers and panel discussions. All DIAS events at the festival will be conducted via Zoom.

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