Monday, May 20, 2013

Robert Boyle Summer School July 2013

Faith healers, feeding the masses and the secret of eternal youth…not what you would typically expect from a scientific gathering but it is far from stuffy conferences that the Robert Boyle Summer School was conceived.

The second annual Robert Boyle Summer School will run in the great scientist’s charming birthplace, Lismore, Co. Waterford from 4th-7th July, 2013.

This exciting event is a fledgling on the Irish festival landscape, in just its second year.  It consists of talks by world leading thinkers from Irish, British and American universities, 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 our understanding of the world forever.

Topics up for discussion this July include:
1. Valentine Greatrakes
Born in Affane, Co Waterford  Valentine Greatrakes was better known as “The Stroker”. His powers as a faith healer caused a sensation in Restoration England.  Boyle himself watched as Greatrakes cured a small boy of blindness and a woman of deafness by stroking the afflicted parts in what one contemporary pamphleteer likened to the miracles of Christ and the apostles.

2. Food production
Professor Liam Dolan is Sheradian Professor of Botany at Oxford University and Co-Director of the Plants for the 21st Century Institute. As the earth’s population grows and many of the world’s people struggle without enough to eat Professor Dolan will introduce ongoing scientific work with the potential to solve the global food crisis.

3. Eternal youth
 Professor Rose Ann Kenny, Trinity College Dublin, Director of the new Centre for Successful Ageing will look at what progress has been made in successful aging and what promise lies ahead.

Robert Boyle himself, his life and works will be discussed by Dr Bill Eaton of Georgia Southern University and Dr Anna Marie Roos of the University of Lincoln.

Further details are available on or you can view the Robert Boyle Summer School programme here. Event tickets can be booked by calling Eleanor at Lismore Heritage Centre on 058-54975.

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