Today’s Ireland prides itself on its ability to innovate, to harness research, to be at the cutting edge of technology.
This is not a new phenomenon. Irish scientists and engineers have left their mark on the world through the ages. You will find them in ancient astronomy and in modern genetics. You will find them measuring wind force in the 1800s, splitting the atom in the 1930s, and manufacturing Viagra and Botox today.
Ireland has played host to some of history’s “Eureka” moments. In 1843, seized by a moment of inspiration on his walk to work, Irish mathematician Sir William Hamilton used his penknife to carve into a wall a new type of four-dimensional number, a moment now seen as the birth of modern algebra. In 1943 Erwin Schrödinger gave a series of public lectures in Dublin which formed the basis for his famous book “What is Life?”. This examined the physics and chemistry that underpins living organisms, and was an inspiration to the pioneers of molecular biology.
The Little Book of Irish Science will give you a glimpse into these and other scientific achievements in Ireland.