IRELAND’S SCIENTIFIC HERITAGE
William Reville, University College, Cork.
When most people think of Ireland’s cultural heritage they think of things like ‘The Island of Saints and Scholars’, The Book of Kells, our great writers, Irish music, and so on. Ireland has little by way of a scientific heritage – right? Wrong.
We have quite a decent scientific heritage that we should take pride in and teach to our children. As a people we have a proven aptitude for science and the current Government support for Irish Science will surely reinvigorate that capacity to do great things.
From the foundation of the modern Irish State until very recently, science has not received the respect it deserves in Ireland. We chose instead to fire our imaginations almost exclusively with other things. But, Irish science is back and, given our past achievements, there is every reason to hope for great things to come.
Two excellent little books –
Some People and Places (and More People and Places) in Irish Science and Technology, (eds. Charles Mollan, William Davis and Brendan Finucane) have been published by The Royal Irish Academy (1985, 1990).