Days 3-5; Week 2 at The Irish Times

It’s been a busy week and I’m on the way back to Galway to have meetings tomorrow with some of the PhD students. Gotta leave the fourth estate behind and dip back into the day-job for a day!

This week, I’ve been getting things done for two feature articles I want to write. The first is very cool; I won’t let too much out of the bag for now, but it involves some very ‘old’ – yet living – bacteria and even older rocks, as well as some time travel and space travel. Look out for that in the paper, and online, in early September.

The second feature article in the works is a bit more serious, and involves science and education. Again, I’ll wait a while before saying anything else, as it’s a bit, well, embryonic yet and I’m not sure where it’s going. This particular one, though, is involving a lot of chasing,  phone-calling and e-mailing and really forcing me to think about how – and even if! – it can be put together. A bit of head-scratching this weekend should see my right, all the same.

Yesterday (Thurs), my first feature article was in the paper. In case you’ve only read the online version – or if you haven’t seen it at all – here are pictures of the science page:

Tapping potential PacMan















Today, my piece on the discovery of plant residues – garlic mustard seed ‘phytoliths’, to be exact – have been found on 6,100-year-old pottery shards went online. You can read about what was on the menu of the these Stone Age gourmets.

The links to all of my articles so far are here:

  • Beat the queue, take the Hyperloop!
  • Huge temperature increases on the way for Ireland
  • The ‘immortal‘ animal helping out stem cell science (this did pretty well on the web)
  • Stone Age gourmets
  • Tapping potential

The temperature story did make it to page 1, which was great.

This was the front page of the paper last Friday: Climate change















Yes, it is side-ways – sorry!

Today, I met with Prof Mark Ferguson, the Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland. Prof Ferguson wanted to meet since SFI are part-funding my media fellowship with the British Science Association.

Speaking of the the BSA, I booked my travel and accommodation for the BSA British Science Festival in Newcastle in September. I’ll be reporting for The Irish Times from the media centre each day. More on that later.

Finally, did your mother ever coax you to eat up your greens? Well, watch out for a report (at on one (or yet-another) reason why her advice was spot on.

– GC

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