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Robert Boyle Summer School 2013 Programme

Outline Programme listed below-

This exciting new event on the Irish cultural landscape is a place where the scientific heritage is explored and the position of science in our culture is examined and questioned. It consists of talks by world leading thinkers, walks through one of Ireland’s most charming small towns and tours of the beautiful and varied surrounds and costumed re-enactments of experiments that changed the way we see the world.

Programme details below. 

Download PDF of programme here


Programme includes:

Talks by Leading International speakers


Coach Tour of sites of scientific and historic interest in West Waterford.


Guided Tour of the Lismore Castle gardens


Costumed recreation of Boyle’s Experiments.


Panel discussions.




Programme Outline


Thursday 4th July: Introduction to Boyle and Lismore

Morning Session:

The Boyle Show

Lismore Heritage Centre

Walking Tour of Lismore


Evening Lecture

Details to be announced


Friday 5th July


Morning Session

Dr. Anna Marie Roos University of Lincoln

Anna Marie is a historian of early modern England (the era spanning Boyle’s life) and is particularly interested in the history of science. She has also published on the history of magic and astrological medicine and the history of the Royal Society.  Until her recent move to Lincoln, she was Lister Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Anna Marie has researched Boyle and many of his contemporaries and is ideally suited to talk about Boyle, his life and times with reference to his contemporaries and the sate of science and to consider Boyle’s place in history.


Dr. Peter Elmer Exeter University

Peter will speak about “The Stroker”- Valentine Greatrakes a healer who was a sensation in restoration England and in whom Boyle was particularly interested. Greatrakes was from Lismore area. Greatrakes features as an interesting aside in many histories of the age and Peter Elmer has just published a full biography of this amazing man.



Dr. Bill Eaton Georgia Southern University

Bill will give an account from his detailed research about Boyle’s scientific activities while in Ireland in the early 1650s. Boyle was to comment that Ireland was a “country where chemical spirits were so misunderstood and chemical instruments so unprocurable that it was hard to have any Hermetic thoughts in it”. However, Bill Eaton’s recent research sheds new light on this period and argues that Boyle’s scientific development progressed in Ireland particularly in dissections with Sir William Petty


Costumed re-enactment of Boyle Experiments





Saturday 6th July

Boyle considered that the new science of the age could and should bring great benefits to mankind. This year is the 350th anniversary of the publication of Boyle’s book “Some Considerations touching the usefulness of Experimental Natural Philosophy”. The Summer School therefore first hear the prominent historian of the period  Allan Chapman and will reflect on how science has benefitted mankind and through two world leading researchers consider the recent and future progress in two very important areas that were of concern to Boyle: health and food production.


Morning Session

Dr Allan Chapman Oxford University

Allan is well known for is presentations and TV work popularizing figures from the history of science. A historian at Oxford University for most of his career he has also been a Professor at Gresham College. His television work includes Gods in the Sky on Channel 4 covering astronomical religion in early civilizations, and the History Chanel’s Great Scientists presenting the lives of five of the greatest thinkers.


Professor Rose Ann Kenny, Trinity College Dublin

Rose Ann is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at TCD / St James Hospital, Head of the Department of Medical Gerantology, and Director of the new Centre for Successful Ageing. Formerly Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Institute for Ageing & Health, Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, she has been a world leader in research into cardiovascular and mobility disorders in ageing. Lead PI for the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), and is also co-PI for Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL). Rose Ann will look at what progress has been made in successful aging and what promise lies ahead.


Afternoon Session

Professor Liam Dolan, Oxford University.

Liam is Sherardian Professor of Botany and Head of Department of Botany at Oxford University and a director of the Plants for the 21st Century Institute. The 20th Century saw amazing progress in food production made possible by science. However global population has risen faster and many in the world still do not have enough to eat. Liam will outline the challenges and introduce present scientific work that shows promise of meeting global food demand.


Tour of Lismore Castle Gardens


Dinner and Panel Discussion


Sunday 7th July

Morning Session

Guided Coach Tour of West Waterford.


Booking Information

For bookings or more information, contact the Lismore Heritage Centre at 

058 54975 or