Celsius Research Group

Celsius is a DCU research group studying Cultural, Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Science. It is an interdisciplinary group bringing together researchers from a range of academic and professional backgrounds who analyse from various perspectives issues and implications of current developments in science, technology, environment and medicine.

Celsius builds on the decade of experience in science communication teaching and research in DCU School of Communications, which has Ireland's only Masters in science communication, and where three PhD research projects on science communication have been completed in recent years.

Members of Celsius include researchers who have participated, or currently participate, in projects on public issues in emerging technologies such as GM foods, genetic screening and nanotechnology, celebrity scientists, communication training for research scientists, discourses of the knowledge economy, evaluation of science outreach initiatives, ethics of new diagnostics, and on many other topics. Celsius provides a forum for development and conduct of research projects, and is available to undertake commissioned research, consultancy and training for scientists, civil society groups and science teachers engaging with science issues in public and educational arenas.

Members of the Research Group

Padraig Murphy

Padraig Murphy

Dr. Padraig Murphy is Assistant Professor at the School of Communications, with research interest  in the areas of science communication and science and technology studies. His research focuses on the intersection of cultural responses to science, public participation and Responsible Research and Innovation (with genetic technologies, nanotechnology, future energy and water among specific examples). He is Director  of the Celsius research group. Among EC and Irish funded projects in this field on which Dr Murphy was or is PI as part of Celsius include: NUCLEUS, PERARES, OSOS, CASE, RRING, SUPER MoRRI and the Irish GM Potato Community of Inquiry project.

Padraig is interested in supervising masters and PhD theses on: science communication; public participation in, and representations of, science and technology; biopolitics; science argumentation; climate, Anthropocene and society

Pat Brereton

Pat Brereton

Prof. Pat Brereton is formerly Associate Dean for Research of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Pat’s research expertise is in film studies and new media literacies. He is particularly interested in media representations of ecology, science, war, religion, new media audiences, media literacy, and national identities.

Pat is interested in supervising masters and PhD theses on: smart cinema, Irish film, ecology in the media, and new media literacies.

Marie Boran

Marie Boran

Marie Boran is an Irish Research Council PhD Scholar and lecturer in the School of Communications.

Marie has an MSc in Science Communication (DCU) and a MScR (Insight, NUI Galway). Her research is on the deliberative qualities and framing of risk in online discourse of artificial intelligence. She lectures on science communication skills on the MSc in Science and Health Communication and in the School of Psychology. Marie is also an award-winning technology journalist and frequently contributes to The Irish Times.

Barbara Gormley

Barbara Gormley

Barbara Gormley is an Irish Research Council Ph.D Scholar and lecturer in the School of Communications at Dublin City University (DCU) where she is a member of the Celsius research cluster. Barbara's current area of research and expertise is in Health/Science Communications; specifically, high risk and crisis that are associated with public health emergencies, namely the H1N1, Swine Flu and SARS - CoV- 2/ COVID-19 pandemics.  As well as lecturing across a variety of media, communications and science/health communications disciplines at undergraduate level,  Barbara lectures on the MSc in Science and Health Communication at DCU.

Fiachra Ó Brolcháin

Fiachra Ó Brolcháin

Dr. Fiachra O’Brolchain obtained a BA in Philosophy and English from University College Dublin. Following this, he completed a Masters in Film Studies in UCD. After working in an academic publishing company, he obtained his doctorate from the school of Politics, International Studies, and Philosophy Queens University Belfast in 2009. He wrote his thesis on the patenting of biotechnological products (GM crops) in order to analyse issues of justice in relation to patenting, technology, international trade, and the environment. He has been lecturing History of Ideas and Philosophy of Science in DCU.

He has worked on various aspects of applied ethics, including the ethical and social implications of virtual reality and social networking in association with the EU's Reverie Project, and the ethical implications of human enhancement technologies. He is currently working as a Marie Curie ASSISTID Fellow looking at the ethics of the development, use and distribution of assistive technologies (AT) for people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Brian Trench

Brian Trench

Brian Trench is a researcher, evaluator and trainer in science communication and a former senior lecturer (retired 2010) in the School of Communications, Dublin City University (DCU). He is also a former Head of School (2002-2007). He was the founding co-ordinator of the Masters in Science Communication and of the Celsius group at DCU.

Brian is the Chair of the PCST global network, which is the main society worldwide for the Public Communication of Science and Technology. He is co-editor with Massimiano Bucchi of Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology (Routledge 2008 and 2014) and of Critical Concepts in Sociology: Public Communication of Science (Routledge, 2015).

Yvonne Cunningham

Yvonne Cunningham

Dr Yvonne Cunningham is a research associate in General Practice and Primary Care at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow.

Since joining the Institute of Health and Wellbeing (IHW) in April 2015, she has worked on CRUK and CSO-funded projects about media representations of cancer and lung cancer symptom recognition and help-seeking, a Scottish Government funded evaluation of new ways of working in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and an evaluation of a volunteering programme operated by the Mental Health Foundation.

Since August 2019 she has been working on a project to investigate the perspectives of health professionals and patients on reducing anticholinergic burden by stopping or switching medications. Her main interests are in qualitative methods and exploring how people engage with media portrayals of health and illness and how these portrayals impact on behaviour.

Dr Cunningham also has a strong interest in public engagement and patient and public involvement in research and is a member of the IHW Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange Group.

Dr Cunningham previously worked as a part-time lecturer in the School of Communications, Dublin City University and as a science communication researcher, evaluator and trainer.

Dr Cunningham gained a PhD in communications in 2014 for her research about audiences for science on television, and has carried out research on FP-7 funded projects on European audiences for science programmes on television and radio (Audio Visual Science Audiences, AVSA), Monitoring Policy and Research Activities on Science in Society in Europe (MASIS) and Platform of Local Authorities and Communicators Engaged in Science (PLACES). She also works as an evaluator, and has been involved in projects to evaluate the Festival of Curiosity in Dublin, the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin and the Science in the City festival run as part of the Euroscience Open Forum held in Dublin in 2012. She has also conducted Celsius research with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) on research stakeholder and public attitudes to radiation, and facilitated stakeholder mapping processes to identify key influencers for achieving the goals of the National Radon Control Strategy.

Dr Cunningham holds a BSc in Applied Science from the Dublin Institute of Technology and before becoming an academic, spent ten years working as a technical writer, editor and sub-editor in the electronics, financial and educational publishing industries.

Stephen Hughes

Stephen Hughes

Dr Stephen Hughes is a Teaching Fellow at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London, delivering a Responsible Innovation programme to EPSRC CDT doctoral students across UCL. His research interests are in exploring the intersection of emotion and responsibility in research cultures. Dr. Hughes was an Environmental Protection Agency doctoral scholar as part of the Celsius group completing the project Love Leitrim/hate fracking: the affective technopolitics of environmental controversy in Ireland.

He has also conducted research with Celsius on stakeholder facilitation and citizen jury methodologies on the topics of water infrastructure and supply and the GM potato in Ireland

Founding Celsius members are:

Brian Trench, lecturer in science communication, School of Communications.

Dr Pat Brereton, Head of School, School of Communications

Yvonne Cunningham, PhD researcher, School of Communications;

Dr. Declan Fahy, Lecturer in Science Communication, American University (PhD from DCU, Associate Member);

Diana Kaiser, PhD researcher, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute;

Dr. Eve Merton, (PhD from DCU, Associate Member);

Dr Anne Morrissey, chemical engineer, Oscail, coordinator Sustainable DCU;

Dr Pádraig Murphy, lecturer in science communication, School of Communications

Emma O'Brien, Education and Outreach manager, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute;

Prof Richard O'Kennedy, School of Biotechnology, VP of Teaching and Learning;

Dr Donal O Mathuna, senior lecturer in healthcare ethics, School of Nursing;

Dr Fiona Regan, lecturer in environmental science, School of Chemical Sciences;

Prof Helena Sheehan, lecturer in philosophy and history of science, School of Communications.

Celsius Science // Society Seminars and Symposia