Anne Murray, Manager, Galway Science and Technology Festival
Galway has hosted for many years the largest festival of science in Europe aimed at children, youth and families. The Galway Science and Technology Festival is a wonderful exciting and fun mix of sciences, engineering, arts and technology innovation expressed through exhibitions, workshops, lectures, hands-on demonstrations, shows and visits to centres of manufacturing, research, schools and the Great Outdoors (woods, meadows, wetlands, seashores…). The county and the city come alive with an enthusiastic celebration of the wonders of science and how scientists, engineers, artists, teachers and manufacturing companies (both indigenous and multinational) in Galway are endeavouring to make the world a better place. The two week-long festival, the brainchild of Bernard Kirk and Noel Treacy in the late 1990s, has as its finale the Sunday Fair in NUI Galway which attracts over 20,000 visitors. Its success is due to the efforts of the Festival’s board, a multisectoral steering committee, media consultant (thanks Tracey!) sponsors, state agencies, professional exhibitors, the workers and coordinators of the Fair in NUI Galway, as well as the many volunteers from colleges, schools and businesses.
But a lot of credit has to undoubtedly go to the person managing this huge extravaganza. Anne Murray is the ‘cool, calm and collected’ manager at the helm that comes up so many of the ideas and contacts whilst ensuring the smooth operation of an event that has put Galway onto the international science learning stage and now defines the city almost as much as the Arts Festival and the Galway Races.
Her 20+ years ongoing working experience with IDA Ireland has been a crucial factor as this state agency has facilitated Galway becoming a global hub for medical technologies and for a significant growing technology sector.
Her love of nutrition, wellbeing and being immersed in Nature helps her ensure that the Festival has a holistic approach to science. Thanks to Anne and the hardworking visionary Festival team, the 2019 Galway Science and Technology Festival was the largest (two weeks) event ever held in Ireland on the theme of Climate Change with displays from scouts, youth groups, schools, Coderdojo, and environmental NGOs complimenting the professional exhibits from the third level colleges, research centres, marine institute, the national aquarium, state agencies, as well as the IT and biomedical manufacturing corporations.