Probing Around Trinity’s Cutting-Edge Research

Trinity Life Editor, Úna Harty explores Front Square as it is dominated by the Science Gallery showcasing the college’s latest accessible research.

Pasta and architecture anyone?

This Friday, Trinity’s Front Square was flooded with not only rainwater, but also the Science Gallery’s latest event, ‘Probe’.

‘Probe: Research Uncovered at Trinity College Dublin’ provided the general public with an opportunity to have a nosey around what goes on behind the closed doors of the enigmatic Hamilton end of campus. The general public were encouraged to participate and connect with the cutting-edge research whilst also delving into society’s topical issues.

‘Probe’ comprised of several tents spread across the front end of campus with over 40 different events, talks and showcases as well as music, comedy and workshops. Trinity News met with one of the facilitators, Martha, who gave a tour around the main space.

“When people think of research being carried out in Trinity they think it is for science students”, she explained. “We’re here to make it accessible to the general public and Trinity students who don’t have a science background.”

The adventure in the Food tent which hosted organisations such as Pollinator Food Demo and Sharing Station. The Surplus Food Meal served up food which was about the be thrown away by restaurants. They attempted to convince that out-of-date ingredients are not necessarily inedible.

Enjoying the Food Tent

Enjoying the Food Tent

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

The Get Personal tent contained a wide variety of stands relating to human biology and social issues. Women Are Boring was particularly intriguing. Martha explained how the project was attempting raise awareness on how much more challenging it is for women in the STEM fields, in particular for those who are transgender or are from differing ethnic backgrounds.

Next, we headed for the Maker Space which was one of the more hands-on of the tents. Here we found children scrambling frantically across the floor after small mechanical vehicles they had built from scratch, as well as a frazzled individuals desperately trying to keep their pasta bridge intact.

All ages being entertained!

All ages being entertained!

Perhaps the most interesting of the spaces was most definitely the Vaults adjacent to The Buttery. It was a treasure trove of virtual reality, and it was easy to become lost in a 3D representation of a performance by Trinity Orchestra in the Exam Hall titled ‘From Within, From Without’ by Enda Bates.

‘Limbo’ by Damien Moloney was a truly unique VR experience. Conor Fallon, fresh from the multidimensional other world, explained that “it was as intense as doing half a stamp of LSD”, whilst Ronan Duffy disagreed and compared it to “doing four stamps of LSD”.

It was certainly the most engaging Oculus-based observation I had ever had as I got to chasing pulsating neon shapes around a black room to the sound of music which was not too dissimilar to a MMOTHS track. .

All in all, ‘Probe’ provided an insightful window into Irish research which was certainly thoroughly enjoyed by its spectators and participants alike.

Having a grand old time!

Having a grand old time

Photography by Mairead Walsh

Una Harty

Úna is a third year Nanoscience student and Trinity Life editor for Trinity News.