7 November 2021: Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today welcomed the beginning of Science Week.

Running from today until the 14th, Science Week aims to celebrate science, innovation and research, and shine a light on the work of scientists and researchers across the country. This year’s theme is to highlight Creating Our Future, a campaign which is providing the public with the opportunity to submit their ideas on the future of research.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Science Week is such an important opportunity to showcase the science and research community but also to have a conversation about what science means to all of us."

“We are facing significant challenges as a society and like COVID-19, it will be science that will help steer us through those obstacles."

“It also gives Government an opportunity to consider the role of science in our decision-making processes and how it affects our policy responses. This week I will be updating Government on proposals I have in that regard."

“It is important that our science advice structures can evolve and the past 18 months have shown a need for that. I strongly believe there is a need for science to be at the heart of all of our discussions as a Government."

“Our scientists have different expertise and they bring their views to the range of issues we are facing as a society.”

Almost 5,000 submissions to the Creating Our Future campaign have been received from the public so far, with health and wellbeing, and the environment the most popular topics broached by members of the public.

Managing an ageing population, fertility, racism, water treatment, research into prevalent illnesses, as well as a focus on genomics and immunology are also major areas of interest to the public, many of whom have shared their ideas at the campaign roadshows across Ireland, or on creatingourfuture.ie.

Creating Our Future aims to secure 10,000 submissions by the closing date of 30th November 2021.

Minister Harris added: “I will update the Government on the Creating Our Future campaign, the first of its kind in Ireland, to really get a full understanding of the challenges, issues and desires of the Irish public and how research can support them in the coming years."

“We are really pleased with how things have progressed thus far and it is great to have a week as high profile as Science Week to give additional focus to the campaign.”

Science Week 2021 will see hundreds of virtual and physical events taking place across the country.

To find out what events are taking place, go to www.scienceweek.ie