2017 Press Releases

Sharing science without the jargon...

3 Apr 2017
Ciara O'Donovan Image Emmet Curtin

We are all too familiar with the effects that travel may have on our digestive systems.  But what about the impact that it has on the bacteria living in our guts?  

Ciara O’Donovan, UCC Science for All finalist, has been investigating this before, during and after travel.  Ciara’s fascinating research at the APC Microbiome Institute and Teagasc may help prevent people suffering digestive issues when they travel.

Or perhaps you would like to know more about cystic fibrosis or solar energy or the alien plants in our rivers and lakes?

Come along and hear these and other exciting talks about cutting-edge research which will be battling it out to win 1st place at the UCC Science for All Final Competition on the 5th of April.

The science communication competition now in its 13th year challenges young scientists to share the excitement of their research with the general public in an easily understandable manner, without using jargon.

Snatch Comedy will provide a dose of their fabulous unpredictable Improv-sketches for the intermission.

MC for the final is Dr Fergus McAuliffe, TV presenter on "The Science Squad", and "10 Things to Know About...",  and Education, Public Engagement and Communications Manager at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded  iCRAG - Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences.  Fergus is a previous winner of Famelab Ireland and Famelab International, the HEA “Making an Impact” competition, UCC Science for All and UCC Doctoral Showcase. 

According to McAuliffe, "Winning Science For All kickstarted my career in science communication, giving me the skills and confidence to bring my research to diverse audiences. The experience of taking part in the competition gave me an in-depth insight into the public interest and understanding of science, allowing me to refine my research into a compelling story."

The panel of judges will be chaired by Mr John Dolan, Features Editor, Evening Echo, and also includes Ms Liz Dooley, Director Operations (Biologics) Janssen and Ms Donna O’Driscoll, Director of Marketing & Communications, UCC.

Professor Paul Ross, Head of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC said “The Science for All Competition is a great medium for students to acquire or enhance their communication skills and competencies.  It provides them with a wonderful platform to showcase their research and relay their passion and knowledge on their subject matter to the general public in a relaxed and educational manner”.

The competition is organised jointly by the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, www.ucc.ie/en/sefs and two Science Foundation Ireland funded research centres, the APC Microbiome Institute (http://apc.ucc.ie), and the Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC; www.ipic.ie).


The final takes place in University College Cork’s Western Gateway Building lecture theatre G05 at 6.15pm on Wednesday 5th April. All are welcome and admission is free.




Gut bacteria and medicines: “bugging” you to keep your health “afloat”

Elaine Enright, School of Pharmacy, APC Microbiome Institute


Bile; the unusual suspect in lung disease

Stephanie Flynn, School of Microbiology


From photosynthesis to solar energy conversion - a chemical approach

Andrés Molina, Department of Chemistry


“Never travelling alone”: the impact of travel on the gut microbiota

Ciara O’ Donovan, School of Microbiology, Teagasc, APC Microbiome Institute


Swimming with the Enemy; Getting to Know the Aliens in Our Rivers & Lakes

Darren Reidy, School of BEES


Happy Mum, Happy Microbiome?

Katie L. Togher, Department of Obstetrics & Biological, Infant/APC Microbiome Institute


For more on this story contact:

Dr Catherine Buckley, Communications & Outreach Manager, APC Microbiome Institute  Mob:086 - 8554744; c.buckley@ucc.ie

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF