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Celsius is a DCU research cluster 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

Pat Brereton

Dr. Pat Brereton is Head of the School of Communications and 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.

Padraig Murphy

Dr. Padraig Murphy is an expert in the area of Science Communication and has managed a number of collaborative, externally funded projects in this field. His research focuses on risk communication, media representations of science and technology and media audiences’ understanding of scientific discourses. He is Research Cluster Coordinator of the Celsius research group.

Padraig is interested in supervising masters and PhD theses on: Science communication; public participation in, and representations of, science and technology; pedagogy and identities; emerging technologies, and new media in education.

Dr. Jane Suiter

Dr. Jane Suiter is a lecturer in the School of Communications and acting director of the Centre for 21st Century Media at DCU. She has led several projects in media monitoring, most recently for the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland focussing on gender. She is an expert in engagement and participation and is Deputy Research Director of the Irish Constitutional Convention. Jane is also a former journalist having been Economics Editor at The Irish Times.

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. 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).

Caitríona Mordan

Caitríona Mordan currently holds responsibility for the management and delivery for current EU-funded projects NUCLEUS (New Understanding for Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and Scientific Institutions) and the OSOS (Open schools for Open Societies) as well as project management of the DCU Celsius Research Cluster. She is a member of the DCU Social Innovation Network and represents DCU on the National CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Forum.
Caitríona has nine years’ experience in managing STEM public engagement initiatives and stakeholder management. She has previously represented Ireland as a Science Ambassador and has led and served on a number of national advisory groups, including the Project Maths Implementation Group, The Smart Futures Advisory Group (a national industry-education-academia collaborative group). In addition to a M.Sc. in Science Communication she holds a BBS in Business & Human Resource Management.

Brenda McNally is interested in communication strategies and media practices associated with environmental risks and sustainability. Her PhD research investigates the use and influence of mass media(ted) communication about adaptation to environmental change in Ireland. The study analyses 'legacy' and digital media communication and is concerned with how key social actors’ public engagement initiatives shape (potential) citizen participation in the transition to a low carbon future. Brenda is a Daniel O'Hare Scholar and is an experienced communications professional having worked as a freelance journalist and in academic publishing.

Stephen Hughes is an Environmental Protection Agency PhD scholar. His research topic: "Communicating Responsible Research and Innovation - steps towards future environmental science and public engagement" examines critically the historical and sociological forces of science communication since the 'Irish turn to science' with particular reference to green social actors' and Government's role.

Diana Smith is currently completing a PhD on programme evaluation of science outreach and informal learning. The research developed a novel framework for project evaluation using a developmental evaluation approach. She has been involved in project evaluation of community engagement and public participation and worked for PERARES (Public Engagement with Research and Research Engagement with Society). Her research interests are informal learning, community engagement and issues in programme evaluation.

Dr Fiachra O’Brolcháin is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Ethics.  His research focuses on the ethics of novel technologies.  He is the lead ethical researcher on Clarity’s FP7 REVERIE project.  His research in this area focuses on artificial avatars, social networks, and virtual realities.  Other research interests are the ethics of human enhancement, ethical issues associated with brain-computer interfaces, and climate change and global justice.


"Little Country, Big Talk"

Information about this publication [PDF]

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.