09 Dec 2021

From Chocolate Science to Ultra Running at the Midlands Science Festival

From Chocolate Science to Ultra Running at the Midlands Festival

Christine Campbell of Anyone4Science and Dr Craig Slattery of UCD filming the Science of Chocolate

How do we taste things, how can chocolate affect our brain and why do we like sweetness? 

Find out at this year’s Midlands Science Festival which will be taking place online again this November from November 6th.

The Midlands Science team has worked hard to ensure there is something for everyone again this year and will look at a range of issues from how we can all improve our joint health to an exploration of biodiversity in Ireland, an animated series exploring the science of our bodies and digging deep into earth science and geology.

They will also be looking at ‘Sugar and spice and everything science’ in a unique event exploring the Science of Chocolate which is kindly sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.  Join Christine Campbell of Anyone4Science and Dr Craig Slattery of UCD and discover why we like creamier chocolate, how chocolate is processed from bean to bar and what it can do to your brain!

 Secondary school students will also have the chance to take part in a wide range of career focused events and workshops specially developed for Science Week in the midlands and there will be a strong focus on the contribution that research in the midlands is making in the region, creating a better future for everyone.

 Jackie Gorman is the CEO of Midlands Science.

"We will be bringing plenty of pre-booked, interactive events to schools and exploring a range of exciting science topics at our virtual Discovery Day. We also have some brand new offerings for this year including a very special fast-paced event with Ultra-runner Keith Whyte who runs 100KM in his marathons and will be exploring the science of running, including the impact of running on the human body.

"This event will include analysis of data from all levels of athletes from all over the Midlands!  Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and a number of partners, this year is the ninth year of the festival. The guest curator for this year’s festival is Dr Barry Fitzgerald of Eindhoven University of Technology and Barry will be providing a number of events this year including the ever popular Superhero Science," she said.

This year’s festival also sees the festival’s continued partnership with the National Museum of Ireland and the Heritage Office of Longford County Council, providing a continued insight into how science helps us to understand our heritage and where we live.

The Midlands Science Festival Book Club for adult and younger readers is back this year as well and we will also be bringing science through classic sitcom in a unique exploration of the science of Wandavision! 

The Midlands Science Festival, as part of Science Week 2021, is supporting the government of Ireland’s Creating Our Future campaign which provides the public with the opportunity submit their ideas for research to make our country better for all.

Running from November 7-14, Science Week 2021 aims to give the public inspiration for ideas for the Creating Our Future campaign by providing an opportunity to discuss and explore how science can contribute to a better future. Submissions to the campaign, which was launched in July 2021, will run until the end of November. Ideas can be submitted at

The Midlands Science Festival will be running both online and in-person events. Those due to take place in person will be in full compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.

A sample of the Midlands Science Festival events taking place and available to join online are:

Sea and Sky - The Science of Conservation in Ireland – Saturday 6 November at 7pm
Science Faction: The Real Science in Hollywood Films – Sunday 7 November at 7pm
Science Rewind - Science of Superheroes with Dr. Barry Fitzgerald – available online throughout Science Week

The Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, is Prof. Mark Ferguson.

“Science Week has been such an important week in our calendar for over two decades and I am delighted to see it growing every year. Covid-19 has been incredible challenging for everyone, but we have seen the best of what science and research has to offer in providing solutions and creating a better future for us all.

"I am delighted to say that Irish scientists, doctors and researchers have played a fundamental role throughout the pandemic. As we move out of the pandemic and really think about the future that we want for ourselves and future generations, we all have an opportunity to have our voice heard through the government’s Creating Our Future campaign. I would encourage the people submit their ideas to the platform as well as engaging with Science Week through our events and digital activity; there really is something for everyone,” he said.

For a full list of the thrilling science shows, workshops and talks across the country, visit the Science Week website and https://www.midlandsscience. ie/science-week/.

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