connect 2018 • 35 An initiative of Trinity College Dublin, it is a collision of science, art, philosophy, music and medicine where visitors can explore concepts and ideas–for free–around provocative exhibits with themes such as risk, fake, edible, happy and illusion. Science Gallery Dublin is far from the staid museums of childhood fieldtrips. Located at the edge of Trinity College Dublin’s campus in Dublin’s city center, it offers an inviting modern vibe housed in multiple stories of open glass walls. Rotating exhibits are highly interactive and often pose questions to visitors to further draw them into conversation with those around them and with “media- tors”, well-trained undergraduate students who engage and educate visitors on the themes. Visitors at the exhibit themed around the concept of FAKE can visit a working delicatessen in the Gallery to sample foods they may be surprised to learn are sourced from “fake” sources. As they sample various foods, they may find a discussion arises around technology and farming production. In another exhibit, history and art and soci- ology merge around the timely topic of “fake news” as visitors view and discuss historic altered photographs designed to steer emotion and social opinion during the wartime era. “When you come into Science Gallery Dublin, you are guaranteed to have an experience that you’re not necessarily expecting to get in a cultural space,” explains Lynn Scarff, former Director of the Science Gallery Dublin. “The place really generates conversations and it forces connections between people.” While some universities in urban settings can seem lofty and intimidating to the communities around them, Trinity College Dublin is utilizing Science Gallery Dublin for outreach and education to young people in the surrounding communities. “We talk about Science Gallery Dublin as being this kind of porous membrane on the side of the university that kind of lets things pass through it,” says Lynn. “We’re blessed with this wonderful glass frontage which allows everybody to see in.” Lynn goes on to share a story about Owen, one of the mediators at Science Gallery Dublin. “I asked Owen, ‘how did you find out about Science Gallery Dublin?’ He said, “Oh I grew up in the flats across there, that you can see from the window. I had never been in Trinity College before but I wandered in.’” Owen ultimately benefited from the Trinity Access Program and came to study geography and sociology, he then came back to Science Gallery Dublin as a mediator and has been bringing young people from his own community into Science Gallery Dublin on a regular basis. This is why projects like Science Gallery Dublin are so critical, is because they provide that open door into the larger univer- sity. “We always have to be facing out and engaging,” reflects Lynn. “Spaces like Science Gallery Dublin are critical if we want to talk about a world where access to education is one of the biggest game changers in people’s lives.” HOW HAVE THE IRELAND FUNDS HELPED? “It takes time to develop new ideas and to think about them and to hone them down,” says Lynn. “That need for unrestrict- ed funding coming in from a philanthropic space in turn helps us leverage more funding. It is critical to our sustainability. That is really where The Ireland Funds come into play in a big way. It gives organizations the opportunity to create just that little window so they can start to plan to be more sustainable.” SCIENCE GALLERY DUBLIN IS A WONDER. SINCE OPENING IN 2008, OVER 3 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE VISITED THE SCIENCE GALLERY DUBLIN — RANKING THEM AMONGST THE TOP TEN FREE CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS IN IRELAND.