herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

It's a 'no' to politics as Aoibhinn wins prize for Dart commuters physics campaign

She's an academic, a broadcaster and campaigns for women's rights so it's no surprise to hear that Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain doesn't have time to enter politics.

Aoibhinn is a busy woman, especially as she just signed on to be the Irish ambassador for the Chime for Change initiative. The movement was founded last year by Beyonce Knowles, designer Frida Giannini and actress Salma Hayek. It is a global campaign to unite, convene and strengthen the voices speaking out for girls and women throughout the world.

awareness

When discussing her role, the other half of Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy, said that it was vital to raise awareness around the importance of education.

"I've been lucky enough to travel the world and I've been to India and Uganda and you can see the difference that access to education and health makes," she told the Herald.

"Women are the cornerstones of these communities, and it's so important that they have access to education," she added.

But when asked if she would ever be inspired to run for office, the busy lady laughed and said "I've too much on my plate".

And proving just how busy she is, the UCD lecturer has just won an award for her Dart of Physics campaign that she spearheaded while working on her PhD at Trinity College.

The team of researchers were behind an innovative science outreach campaign that brought the weird and wonderful world of physics to Dublin's Dart commuters through physics adverts with statements like: 'The Spire is shorter when the weather is cool' and questions such as: 'How many leaves fall in Dublin every autumn?'

The adverts encouraged commuters to ponder physics phenomena on their way to work, as well as to continue their journey on the campaign website.

And the researchers, including Aoibhinn, won the 2014 prize for producing the Best Education and Third Level Website at the Realex Fire Web awards for the website which supported their campaign.

"I am delighted to know that our website has been visited by the public and students around the world as a learning resource," Aoibhinn said on hearing of their win.

"As a team, we enjoyed putting together this content for our Irish audience and are delighted to receive an award for our science outreach project," she added.

The group are now working hard to start another campaign in Dublin and are hoping to expand it to London for an 'Underground Physics' campaign.

hnews@herald.ie

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