Women in Technology and Science

WITS at Inspirefest19

  • 3 June 2019

WITS was delighted to be at Inspirefest again this year with our student members and Laura Murphy of the WITS Executive. You can see the enjoyment on their faces - thanks to Ann O'Dea and all at Inspirefest for the tickets for the student draw.

The atudents were Grace McNamara, Sadhbh McCarrick, Emily Sheridan, Claire Bergin, Aoife McHugh, Shubhangi Karmakar, Carol O’Brien and Aishwarya Vishwanathan from IT Carlow, TCD, UCC and UCD.

Laura Murphy WITS Executive writes

Inspirefest, now in its 5th year, was as always a fantastic event with an incredible line up of speakers. I was particularly excited to see Angela Saini having read her book, Inferior, as part of our WITS STEMMinist book club events, she spoke about her upcoming book Superior which focuses on race science and "the uses and abuses of science for political ends". There were many emotional moments, tears hearing stories like that of Mark Pollock and laughs for Joanne O'Riordan and Des Traynor. I was moved and inspired by the work being done by companies like AidTech and our corporate sponsor Johnson and Johnson, using tech and innovation to change lives. Another highlight for me was of course Erika Cheung, one of the whistleblowers for the now infamous Theranos scandal. Aside from the outstanding talks though, what stood out for me from Inspirefest was the energy and enthusiasm of the attendees, it is an amazing experience to meet such a diverse group of skilled and talented individuals. I couldn't recommend it enough!

Memorable moments from the students:

  • ‘One thing that stands out was Jennifer Romolini’s talk on Confidence is not the C word you need, but competence, community, commitment and compassion are the C words needed instead.’
  • The thing that stood out most for me is the resilience of the speakers in challenging times and their will to continue and succeed.
  • What stood out to me from the event is the crowd who attended. They are not waiting for a better future they attended to build the momentum to create it themselves, almost more so than the speakers they were the ones who inspired me.
  • I am one of the lucky people who received a WITS student ticket to Inspirefest recently, and I want to thank you all so much for the opportunity. It was an amazing conference, unlike any other I have attended. It was lovely to meet WITS's Laura there too.
  • I loved so many of the talks, and it was hard to pick just one, but my favourite talk at the conference was Joanne O’Riordan. She's a natural public speaker, and her talk about technology was both insightful and funny, with a rousing call to action at the end. I also thought the talk from Angela Saini, who gave us some snippets from her new book, was fascinating.
  • I especially enjoyed hearing Mark Pollock and Simone George speak about their efforts to overcome Mark’s paralysis with exoskeleton technology, it was truly inspirational!
  • I learnt how incomplete the term STEM is. It has to be STEAM! Communicating what you pursue effectively is just as important as the science itself. It keeps the knowledge alive and helps it grow by inspiring others

Find out about the two days here.