Thursday, 20 October 2016

Science sheds light on 250-year-old literary controversy

 Were James Macpherson’s famous translations of the ancient Scottish bard Ossian less Homer from the Greek Classics and more like Oisín from Irish mythology? Multi-disciplinary research from the National University of Ireland Galway, Coventry University and University of Oxford explored the mathematical properties of contested poems. The social networks behind one of the most famous literary controversies of all time have been uncovered using modern complexity science. Since James Macpherson published what he claimed were translations of ancient Scottish Gaelic poetry by a third-century bard named Ossian, scholars have questioned the authenticity of the works and whether they were misappropriated from Irish mythology or, as heralded at the time, authored by a Scottish equivalent to Homer. Now, in a joint study by British and Irish universities and published today (Thursday, 20 October) in the journal Advances in Complex Systems, researchers have revealed the structures of the social networks underlying the Ossianic corpus and their remarkable similarities to Irish mythology. The researchers mapped the characters at the heart of the works and the relationships between them to compare the social networks found in the Scottish epics with classical Greek literature and Irish mythology. The study revealed that the networks in the Scottish poems bore little resemblance to epics by Homer, but strongly resembled those in mythological stories from Ireland. The Ossianic poems are considered to be some of the most important literary works ever to have emerged from Britain or Ireland, given their influence over the Romantic period in literature and the arts. Figures from Brahms to Wordsworth reacted enthusiastically; Napoleon took a copy on his military campaigns and US President Thomas Jefferson believed that Ossian was the greatest poet that had ever existed. The poems launched the romantic portrayal of the Scottish Highlands which persists, in many forms, to the present day and inspired Romantic nationalism all across Europe. Macpherson and collaborators compared Ossian to Greek Classics in order to add authority to the Scottish epic. Although its characters had resonances in Irish mythology, they tried to distance the work from Irish sources. Macpherson also sought to invert the ancient relationship between Ireland and Scotland, reversing the direction of migration of populations and folklore. This provoked outrage by Irish scholars and triggered one of the most famous literary controversies of all time. Revisionist scholarship and a recent 250th anniversary sparked revival of interest in Ossian and launched rehabilitation for Macpherson. The new research found that the mathematical properties of the Ossianic networks are very different to those of Homer, but very similar to ancient Irish tales, specifically Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology, which features Fionn mac Cumhaill and his son Oisín. The interdisciplinary research connects opposite ends of the academic spectrum. “By working together, it shows how science can open up new avenues of research in the humanities,” claims Professor Ralph Kenna, a statistical physicist based at Coventry University. “The opposite also applies,” he says, “as social structures discovered in Ossian inspire new questions in mathematics.” Dr Justin Tonra, a digital humanities expert from the National University of Ireland, Galway adds: “From a humanities point of view, while it cannot fully resolve the debate about Ossian, this scientific analysis does reveal an insightful statistical picture: close similarity to the Irish texts which Macpherson explicitly rejected, and distance from the Greek sources which he sought to emulate.” The paper will be published online this week at the journal website. It is also available for free from . -ends-

News Archive

Friday, 14 October 2016

Major national conference at NUI Galway with leading Irish and international speakers is centrepiece of The Centenary Conversations – a three day programme of talks, debates, exhibitions and performances Leading speakers from Ireland and around the globe will gather in Galway from the 10th to the 12th of November to participate in The Centenary Conversations, a major initiative of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. Details of the three-day Conference and Fringe programme were announced today (Friday 14th October) by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD. The centrepiece of the event is a major national conference, which is free to the public, titled ‘1916-2016 The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty’.  Hosted by NUI Galway and featuring a host of internationally-renowned academics, historians and special guests, the conference will explore and debate some of the most important issues and challenges facing us today.  The conference will be opened by An Taoiseach  and participants will include Minister Humphreys, Professor Roy Foster (University of Oxford), Professor Philip Pettit (Princeton University), Professor Louise Richardson (University of Oxford), Professor Clair Wills (Princeton University) and Professor Brendan O'Leary (University of Pennsylvania), as well as academics from across the entire third level sector in Ireland. Speaking at the announcement of The Centenary Conversations, Galway An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD said: “One of our greatest national talents is storytelling, which we do through literature, drama, poetry and other art forms.  Most of all we do it through conversations, in large groups and small.  This year we are re-living the experience of 1916 through historical analysis but also through the power of the arts in storytelling.  The National Conference in Galway will facilitate the exchange of views and opinions about the past, and how our understanding of the past can help us shape the future.  The wide-ranging events around the conference will extend and enlarge the conversation, bring in new audiences and perspectives – and will make this a great event not just for Galway but for the entire country.” Minister Heather Humphreys said: “2016 has been an extraordinary year for Ireland and for Irish people. As we come to the end of our year of reflection and remembrance, it is time for us to look to the future and explore ways in which we can build on the positive experience of our centenary year. Public participation and engagement, not just in the events of the Centenary Programme, but also in the discussions around our complex history, have been a hallmark of our approach to this year. Therefore, I am particularly pleased that admission to the National Conference is free and I would encourage everyone to attend, participate and enjoy this unique and exciting event.” Minster for Education and Skills Richard Bruton TD said: “The participation and engagement by thousands of students, teachers and academics, in every education institution in the country, played a huge part in the success of this year's Centenary Programme.  Creating opportunities and access for everyone to discover, learn and debate our shared history and what it means to be Irish today speaks to the value and importance of education in all our lives." In addition to the National Conference, a specially curated Fringe programme of talks, exhibitions, performances and special events will take place in NUI Galway and in venues across the city.  Highlights of the fringe programme include: Ceann Comhairle, Hector Ó hEochagáin will convene a special sitting of the 2116 Parliament, where ten guest speakers will deliver a five minute motion to the Assembly, after which questions may be taken from the floor. Look beyond the headlines and seek out the complicated and sometimes inconvenient truth in The Experts Bite Back, where experts fact-checks claims by politicians and the media on recent controversial issues and in a mission to get to the truth of the matter. Award-winning 16 x 16 Next Generation artist Sian Ní Mhuirí presents 16 and Rising, the story of a secret revolutionary organisation of women and men who gather in a basement to plan an insurrection that will transform the city, and challenge the survival of the 32nd Dáil. Host of the popular Hedge School series, Tommy Graham comes to Galway with the History Ireland Hedge School: All Changed, Changed Utterly … from 1916 to Brexit. A discussion with a difference, and considerable good humour! Details of The Centenary Conversations, Galway and the full 1916 – 2016 The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty Conference Programme as well as registration details are available now at Admission to the National Conference is free but registration is essential. ENDS Gach bóthar ag déanamh ar Ghaillimh do mhórócáid Chomórtha Céad Bliain   Comhdháil náisiúnta ollmhór in OÉ Gaillimh le cainteoirí Éireannacha agus idirnáisiúnta mór le rá mar phríomhimeacht Chomhráití an Chéid - clár trí lá de chainteanna, díospóireachtaí, taispeántais agus taibhithe   Beidh cainteoirí mór le rá as Éirinn agus áiteanna ar fud an domhain ag teacht le chéile i nGaillimh idir an 10 agus an 12 Samhain chun páirt a ghlacadh i gComhráití an Chéid, mórthionscnamh de chuid Éire 2016: Clár Comórtha Céad Bliain. Rinne an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D, an tAire Ealaíon, Oidhreachta, Gnóthaí Réigiúnacha, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, Heather Humphreys TD, agus an tAire Oideachais agus Scileanna, Richard Bruton TD sonraí chlár na Comhdhála trí lá agus na Féile imeallaí a fhógairt inniu (Dé hAoine, an 14 Deireadh Fómhair).  Is é príomhócáid na himeachta mórchomhdháil náisiúnta, atá saor in aisce don phobal, dar teideal ‘1916-2016: Dóchas agus Dúshlán na Ceannasachta Náisiúnta’.  Mar chuid den chomhdháil, a bheidh á hóstáil ag OÉ Gaillimh agus ina mbeidh slua d’acadóirí, staraithe agus aíonna speisialta a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta orthu ag glacadh páirte, déanfar cuid de na ceisteanna agus na dúshláin is tábhachtaí atá romhainn inniu a chíoradh agus a phlé.  Osclóidh an Taoiseach an chomhdháil agus i measc na rannpháirtithe beidh an tAire Humphreys, an tOllamh Roy Foster (Ollscoil Oxford), an tOllamh Philip Pettit (Ollscoil Princeton), an tOllamh Louise Richardson (Ollscoil Oxford), an tOllamh Clair Wills (Ollscoil Princeton) agus an tOllamh Brendan O’Leary (Ollsoil Pennsylvania), chomh maith le hacadóirí as ar fud na hearnála tríú leibhéal in Éirinn. Ag labhairt dó ag fógairt Chomhráití an Chéid, Gaillimh dúirt an Taoiseach Enda Kenny an méid seo: “ Is í an scéalaíocht ceann dár mbuanna náisiúnta is mó, agus baineann muid úsáid as litríocht, dráma, filíocht agus foirmeacha ealaíne eile leis na scéalta a insint.  Den chuid is mó, áfach, is trí chomhráití a dhéanann muid é sin, i ngrúpaí beaga nó sluaite móra.  I mbliana táimid ag déanamh iarracht taithí a fháil ar an saol i 1916 trí anailís stairiúil ach freisin trí chumhacht na scéalaíochta.  Leis an gComhdháil Náisiúnta i nGaillimh éascófar malairt tuairimí agus dearcthaí maidir leis an am a chuaigh thart agus conas is féidir lenár dtuisint ar an am sin cuidiú linn an todhchaí a mhúnlú.  Déanfaidh na himeachtaí fairsinge thart ar an gcomhdháil an comhrá a leathnú, agus meallfar lucht éisteachta agus meonta nua - agus cruthófar imeacht den scoth ní hamháin do Ghaillimh ach don tír iomlán.” Dúirt an tAire Heather Humphreys: “Ba bhliain iontach í 2016 d’Éirinn agus do mhuintir na hÉireann. Agus muid ag druidim le deireadh na bliana seo de mhachnamh agus de chuimhneamh, tá sé in am dúinn súil a chaitheamh chun cinn agus bealaí a fhiosrú ina bhféadfaidh muid tógáil ar an eispéireas dearfach a bhí againn i mbliain chomórtha an chéid. Ba shaintréith dár gcur chuige i leith na bliana seo rannpháirtíocht an phobail, ní hamháin in imeachtaí an Chláir Chomórtha ach freisin sa phlé a bhí againn faoinár stair chasta. Mar sin de, tá áthas orm ach go háirithe go bhfuil cead isteach chuig an gComhdháil Náisiúnta saor in aisce agus mholfainn do gach duine freastal air, páirt a ghlacadh ann agus sult a bhaint as an imeacht uathúil spreagúil seo. Bhi an méid seo le rá ag an Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna, Richard Bruton TD: “Bhí páirt mhór ag rannpháirtíocht na mílte mac léinn, múinteoirí agus acadóirí, i ngach institiúid sa tír, sa rath a bhí ar an gClár Comórtha céad bliain i mbliana.  Trí dheiseanna agus rochtain a chur ar fáil do chách lenár stair chomhroinnte agus an chiall atá le hÉireannachas sa lá atá inniu ann a fhiosrú, a fhoghlaim agus a phlé, léirítear luach agus tábhacht an oideachais inár saol.” Chomh maith leis an gComhdháil Náisiúnta, beidh clár Imeallach, a coimeádadh go speisialta, de chainteanna, taispeántais, taibhithe agus imeachtaí speisialta ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh agus in ionaid eile ar fud na cathrach. Ar bhuaicphointí an chláir imeallaigh: Déanfaidh an Ceann Comhairle, Hector Ó hEochagáin, suí speisialta de Pharlaimint 2116 a thionól, ina gcuirfidh deichniúr aoichainteoirí tairiscint chúig nóiméad i láthair an Tionóil agus ina dhiaidh sin glacfar le ceisteanna ón lucht éisteachta. Féach ar an méid atá taobh thiar de na ceannlínte agus téigh ar thóir na fírinne casta, a bhíonn searbh go minic, le The Experts Bite Back, ina ndéanfaidh saineolaithe an méid atá maíte ag polaiteoirí agus na meáin i dtaca le ceisteanna conspóideacha le déanaí a sheiceáil ó thaobh fíricí de d’fhonn teacht ar fhírinne an scéil. Cuireann Sian Ní Mhuirí, ealaíontóir ar ar bronnadh an gradam 16 x 16 Next Generation, 16 and Rising i láthair, scéal faoi eagraíocht réabhlóideach rúnda de mhná agus fir a thagann le chéile in íoslach chun éirí amach a phleanáil a athróidh an chathair go hiomlán agus a chuirfidh dúshlán faoi shaol an 32ú Dáil. Tagann Tommy Graham, óstach na sraithe Hedge School, a bhfuil an-tóir uirthi, go Gaillimh le Scoil Scairte History Ireland: All Changed, Changed Utterly … from 1916 to Brexit. Plé as an ngnáth le go leor grinn! Tá sonraí Chomhráití an Chéid, Gaillimh agus Clár iomlán na Comhdhála 1916 – 2016 Dóchas agus Dúshlán na Ceannasachta Náisiúnta, chomh maith le sonraí clárúcháin, ar fáil anois ag Tá cead isteach chuig an gComhdháil Náisiúnta saor in aisce ach ní mór clárú lena haghaidh.   CRÍOCH  

Friday, 14 October 2016

Harnessing the knowledge of the Irish agriculture sector can significantly contribute to ending hunger and poverty for millions of people in the Developing World. Joe McHugh T.D, Minister of State for the Disapora and Overseas Development Aid launches the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD)   Such is the belief of the founders of an innovative new consortium that has brought the Irish agriculture and research sectors together with some of the country’s leading development charities, in a bid to leverage Irish know-how to increase agriculture productivity and combat hunger in the Developing World.         Founding members of the new Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) are the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Irish Aid, Teagasc, Agri-Science departments at NUI Galway, UCC and UCD, along with leading international development charities Gorta-Self Help Africa, Vita, Concern Worldwide, Trocaire and Misean Cara, private companies such as Sustainable Food Systems Ireland and Greenfield International and leading farmer associations ICMSA, ICSA, IFA and Macra na Feirme. Dr Una Murray, Nua Consulting (left) and Dr Peter McKeown, Coordinator of MScCCAFS program at NUI Galway (right) at IFIAD Launch The successful trialing in Eritrea, one of Africa’s poorest countries, of a potato variety shipped from Ireland offered a tangible example of what the new forum could achieve, the official launch of IFIAD heard, at the RDS in Dublin yesterday. Consortium members, including Teagasc, the Irish Potato Industry, Gorta-Self Help Africa and Vita had introduced the Electra variety, and provided their Eritrean counterparts with technical support and assistance. Early results showed that potato yields had tripled for Eritrean farmers as a result. Last year, Eritrea became the seventh member of the Irish Potato Forum. Representatives from national and international agriculture, agri-business and development aid sectors attended the launch, which was addressed by Minister Joe McHugh TD, and by guest speakers including Dr Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Paul Winters, Director of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD). Derrie Dillon, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Manager, Macra na Feirme (left) and Kevin Kilcline, Coordinator of MScAgriBiosciences program at NUI Galway (right) at IFIAD Launch At the launch, Minister Joe McHugh TD said: “Bringing together Irish agricultural and development expertise in this way is a great opportunity for all of us. IFIAD will help us to collectively strengthen our partnerships and continue our work to eradicate hunger and poverty.” The Forum’s Chair, Dr Lance O’Brien, Head of Strategy and International Relations at Teagasc said: “this new initiative will create a platform to allow the knowledge, expertise and commitment of the Irish farming sector to be harnessed to deliver a more focused impact on addressing the challenge of food security in developing countries.”   Professor Charles Spillane, from the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre at NUI Galway said that “IFIAD is a much needed and timely initiative that has the potential to bring a more coordinated, coherent and impact-oriented approach to Irish agricultural policies, programmes, research and training focused on reducing poverty in developing countries” NUI Galway MScCCAFS students attending IFIAD launch; Kekae Kelebogile (South Africa); Rachael Murphy (Ireland); Lorna Born (South Africa) and Sarina Motsuki (South Africa) (from left to right).   Chief Executive of Gorta-Self Help Africa Ray Jordan said that upwards of 70% of people in the Developing World directly relied on farming for their survival. If even a fraction of the learning and successes of Irish agriculture would be transposed to Africa and other poorer regions, it would lift many millions of people out of extreme poverty.” Visit: for more information.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

NUI Galway last night celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 60 students received €1,500 each. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students, 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking at the Awards presentation, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 43 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 13 counties including Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, and Westmeath. -Ends- Ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scothmhic Léinn a rinne Éacht san Ardteistiméireacht  Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 iad ar 60 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn Leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronnadh deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar na daoine den scoth seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ar scoláirí ó 43 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Tá scoláireachtaí le bronnadh ar mhic léinn as na contaetha seo a leanas – an Clár, Corcaigh, Baile Átha Cliath, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Dara, Luimneach, Maigh Eo, Uíbh Fhailí, Ros Comáin, Sligeach, Tiobraid Árann agus an Iarmhí. -Críoch-

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
German Film Series 2016-17 - Clashing Cultures - 18.00 Monday,
24 October 2016
Arts Millennium (AM 200)
The Physiological Society GL Brown Prize Lecture 18.00 Monday,
24 October 2016
Life Course Institute
Sean-nós Dancing Workshop 19.00 Wednesday,
26 October 2016
An Taibhdhearc, Middle Street
The Haven Project Symposium: Intervening for Human Security in the Mediterranean Crisis Saturday,
29 October 2016
Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building
The Haven Project Symposium: Intervening for Human Security in the Mediterranean Crisis 9.00 Saturday,
29 October 2016
Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building
German Film Series 2016-17 - Clashing Cultures 18.00 Monday,
31 October 2016
Arts Millennium (AM 200)
Flow-based software development: An Activity Theory Perspective [Whitaker Ideas Forum] 13.00 Wednesday,
2 November 2016
CA110, Cairnes Building

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-