Women in Technology and Science

WITS Mary Mulvihill Lecture

  • 12 November 2021

WITS Mary Mulvihill Lecture

WITS remembers our founder Mary Mulvihill the science journalist with this biannual lecture. We invite a speaker to talk about an area of their interest from science, technology, the arts and anything that reflects Mary's wide range of interests.

The 2021 Mary Mulvihill Lecture 8 November 2021 Communicating Communications. Dr Linda Doyle, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr Linda Doyle, the first female provost of Trinity College Dublin, gave the fifth memorial Mary Mulvihill Lecture in the beuatiful surroundings of the Saloon, Provost's House, TCD. The talk was Communicating Communications: A talk about science communication, feminism and leadership. Dr Andrea C. Johnson, WITS Chair 2021, opened the evening with a tribute to Mary Mulvihill's legacy. Nadine McKeone of AIB then spoke about women in STEM. Dr Linda Doyle then gave a riveting talk about communication and communicating STEM to the public. It has many functions including to get people interested and excited in STEM. She outlined her experiences as a communicator and identified the gaps and barriers to communcation. She then considered women and leadership and identified many wasy to lead people. The programme is here. It was the first hybrid event for WITS with the audience in the Provost's House and the lecture streamed online The lecture was hosted by Trinity College Dublin and sponsored by WITS corporate member AIB.

The 2019 Mary Mulvihill Lecture 30 October 2019 Collecting and Keeping the National Memory. Dr Sandra Collins, Director, National Library of Ireland

On 30 October 2019, WITS celebrated with the fourth memorial lecture, the Mary Mulvihill Lecture. This year’s speaker was Dr Sandra Collins, director of the National Library of Ireland. Hosted in the Library, the talk was accompanied by a sign language interpreter. Dr Collins spoke to the work of the Library, focusing particularly on its duty of care to increasingly “born digital” items, from text files and images, to preserving websites and social media. She illustrated these challenges with examples from the NLI collections, ranging from the Seamus Heaney and Bob Geldof collections to the most recent acquisition of the digital archive of the author Marian Keyes.

The final part of her talk focused on her own education and career, moving from studying for a PhD in mathematics in UCD to becoming the founding director of the Digital Repository of Ireland, and finally taking up directorship of the Library. She reflected on her own early experience of often being the only woman in a given room, both in university and industry, and how that has shaped her approach to her work and working environment. The talk was informative and light hearted, while dealing with tough issues around gender balance in STEM academia and careers. Dr Collins concluded on the hope that many of the perceived and real barriers for women and girls in engaging with STEM subjects are something of the past, and that her daughter’s generation will only know of these barriers from history. The lecture was hosted by the National Library of Ireland.

The 2017 Mary Mulvihill lecture, 7 November 2017 The Hidden Reality. Professor Dervilla Donnelly, UCD

The 2017 Mary Mulvihill Lecture The Hidden Reality was given by Professor Dervilla Donnelly UCD Emeritus Professor of Phytochemistry. Professor Donnelly spoke about the hidden reality of basic research, how important it is and how it needs to be supported by national and government policy. Her experience of both research and policy, her breadth and depth of knowledge made this an inspiring and amusing talk. Dogpatch Labs hosted the lecture.

The 2016 Mary Mulvihill Lecture 10 November 2016 Targets, quotas, carrots and sticks – eliminating gender inequality in academia. Professor Jane Grimson TCD

In 2016 WITS celebrated our founder Mary Mulvihill with an excellent lecture by Professor Jane Grimson long-time WITS member and founder of WiSER (the Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research) at TCD. The lecture was titled Targets, quotas, carrots and sticks – eliminating gender inequality in academia and it was a compelling myth-busting and evidence-based lecture that explored the nuances of the issues and identified the complexity of reaching a solution. The lecture was hosted by Science Gallery Dublin.

The 2015 Mary Mulvihill lecture WITS25 3 November 2015 The Path to STEM. Lady Alicia Clements, Birr Castle

Lady Alicia Clements of Birr Castle and Science Centre gave the first Mary Mulvihill lecture The Path to STEM. Alicia, who was an inspiring speaker and had known Mary well, talked about her life in STEM and how her career developed from engineering to project management based at Birr Castle. Dogpatch Labs hosted the talk on the 25th anniversary of the first formal meeting of WITS in 1990. It continued WITS tradition of exploring women’s lives in STEM.