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Introduction

Through the decades, science has had a growing impact, both directly and indirectly, on public life. Science is seen by many as the primary driving force behind our technological civilisation. However, the methods and procedures on which science and technology operate are poorly understood, yet they have an ever-increasing influence on social, political and economic developments.

Ireland has a rich heritage of science and technology. Yet we have been slow to appreciate the value of science and technology in terms of the countryís economic advance. One of the keys to promoting a better understanding of science and technology, lies in a greater understanding of the scientific culture and its scientists. Promoting awareness and a positive perception of our scientistsí, will help in educating people, about Irelandís rich scientific and technology heritage.

Generally, we think of the history of science as a history of men. In fact, the history of science is made up of 1000's of people who contributed to the knowledge and theories that constituted the science of their eras and made the scientific discoveries possible, and many of these people were women. Women overcame major obstacles to become scientists, often at the expense of their personal lives. Yet these women made significant and substantial contributions to science.

It is not often that we get to see the man/woman behind the scientist. Usually, we hear about the reputations that these scientists earned, the awards they achieved, or the discoveries that they made. But what about the scientists themselves; what kind of people were they?, did they have any other interests besides science?, what challenges did they face throughout their lives?...

The scientistís lives, which are covered in this web-site, tell remarkable and courageous stories, of people who persevered in their study of science despite tremendous personal, cultural and social difficulties. One must not only admire their substantial contributions to science, but also their courage in overcoming these barriers.
The aim of this website is to provide you, the browser, with some interesting and in some cases, unusual facts about some of Ireland's great male and female scientists. Not only the accolades they achieved but also the more human aspects of these great scientists.