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RBSS Programme 2014

The 3rd Annual Robert Boyle Summer School

3rd-6th July 2014

Lismore Co Waterford


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Programme Outline


Thursday will be devoted to introducing Boyle to those who may not be too familiar with him.  It will involve a talk on how he might have seemed to his friends and a costumed re-enactment of some of his experiments, as well as familiarisation with the area.

Morning Session:

10:30 & 12:00

To cater for the exceptional demand there will be two presentations of the Boyle Show and the LIsmore walking tour

The Boyle Show

Eoin Gill,

Calmast Waterford Institute of Technology

10:30 & 12:00                   Walking Tour of Lismore

Evening Lecture

Chair Ms Patricia Egan President, Irish Association of Physicists in Medicine

19:00 – 20:00

The Dark Side of Science

Jim Malone.

Emeritus Robert Boyle Professor of Medical Physics TCD.



Boyle believed that science was an act of devotion while science and religion are now often portrayed as in constant conflict. In Friday’s programme historians and commentators consider the historical relationships between science and religion.

Morning Session

Chair: Dr Michael Byrne, reviver of the Robert Boyle Lectures St Mary-le-Bow London

10:00 – 11:15

Robert Boyle and the Stubborn Myth of the “Warfare of Science and Religion"

Lawrence Principe Johns Hopkins University USA.

Drew Professor of the Humanities; Director, Singleton Centre for the Study of Premodern Europe and Chemistry Professor

11:15 – 12:30

Proving God from Nature: The Functions and Fortunes of Natural Theology

John Hedley Brooke

Emeritus Professor of Science and Religion Oxford



Chair: Dr William Eaton, associate professor of Philosophy at Georgia Southern University

15:00 – 16:00

Science, Creation and the New Atheism

Terry Eagleton

Author, Literary Critic, Public Intellectual. Distinguished Professor of English Literature, Lancaster University.


Evening                                BBQ with Music


Boyle considered that science should be pursued to satisfy human curiosity about the world and also to bring material benefits to mankind. In this session prominent Irish scientists will illustrate how their work uncovers the workings of the human body and the universe and how such work leads to applications that will benefit society.


Morning Session

Chair: Dr Cormac O'Raifeartaigh, Waterford Institute of Technology

10:00 – 11:15

Boyle's Scientific Legacy: Discoveries and Practice

Lawrence Principe Johns Hopkins University USA

11:15 – 12:30

From Atoms to Astrophysics - How we know what we know about the Universe

Lorraine Hanlon

Astrophysics Professor,  UCD


Afternoon Session

Chair Prof Dervilla Donnelly, Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry UCD

14:15 - 14:45

Experiments and Considerations Touching Colour

Sheila Donegan and Paul Nugent

15:00- 16:00

Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Atherosclerosis: On Inflamation and Ageing

Luke O’Neill

Professor of Biochemistry TCD & RDS Boyle Medallist


16:30 – 18:00 Tour of Lismore Castle Gardens



19:00 Dinner Lismore House Hotel (3-course dinner Price €25)

21:00 Panel Discussion Lismore House Hotel


Sunday 6th July:

An opportunity to relax and enjoy the Blackwater Valley


Morning Session

11:30 Visit to Tourin House and Gardens

The fee for all talks is remarkable value at €50.

Online Booking Here

(at eventbrite- a booking charge applies)

More Info from

Alice O'Donoghue

Lismore Heritage centre

Phone       058 54975
or email    ao’


The Robert Boyle Summer School is organized through a collaborative effort involving Calmast Science outreach centre at Waterford Institute of Technology, the Lismore Heritage Centre and the Robert Boyle Foundation. The summer school is supported by Lismore Castle, business and industry and public bodies.

The organizing committee includes Dr Sheila Donegan (Calmast Waterford Institute of Technology), Prof Jim Malone (Emeritus Robert Boyle Professor Trinity College Dublin), Paul Nugent (Inst of Physics Teachers Coordinator), An tOllamh Annraoi de Paor (iar Ollamh Innealtóireacht Leictreach UCD), Mealla Fahy (Manager Lismore Heritage Centre), Eleanor Howard, (Lismore Heritage Centre), and Eoin Gill (Calmast Waterford Institute of Technology).

NB there may be slight changes to the schedule.

Thanks to the supporters of Robert Boyle Summer School 2014:

Royal Society of Chemistry

Institute of Physics

Institute of Chemistry of Ireland

Waterford City and County Council

Failte Ireland

IPB Insurance

Údaráis Áitiúla Éireann

The Robert Boyle Foundation

iSCAN Irish Science Centres and Awareness Network