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Inaugural lecture of Prof. Caitríona Jackman

On Thursday, September 8th 2022, we celebrated the inaugural lecture of Prof. Caitríona Jackman at DIAS Dunsink Observatory. We were honored to have government representatives, representatives from funding bodies including SFI and IRC, colleagues from universities across Ireland,  science communication specialists, family and friends in attendance at the event.

Prof. Jackman’s inaugural lecture focused on ‘Adventures in the Solar System’. She gave the audience an insight into how space missions transition from initial idea, to planning and construction, launch, maneuvering, data collection and finally the death of the spacecraft.  Throughout this story she shared personal anecdotes as to how her career has been shaped by various events involving different spacecraft including Juno, Cassini and others.

Prof. Jackman also gave the audience an insight into planetary magnetospheres, what they are and how they affect us. She ended by giving a glimpse into what her research could focus on in the future and reminding us of how much we still have to learn about the planets within our own solar system.

At the end of the lecture, Prof. Jackman gave thanks to her PhD supervisor, Prof. Stan Cowley who embedded an important idea in her mind which she now passes on to her own PhD students. That is, there is no such thing as a stupid question. This sentiment is crucial in fostering curiosity within the scientific community and taking our next steps forward in research and discovery.

On behalf of all DIAS staff we wish to congratulate Prof. Jackman on her professorship and we look forward to working alongside her in the years to come.