Ask most people what they think are Ireland’s greatest contributions to the world and they would probably come up with suggestions such as great music, great writers and, of course, great craic and hospitality.
It’s unlikely that scientists would be high on the list, which is a shame because Ireland has had more than its fair share of great inventors and innovators who have made a huge contribution to the world.
We’ve decided that from time to time we’ll take a break from music and introduce features celebrating Irish men and women who’ve achieved greatness in their field.
Over the coming months we’ll look at great Irish writers, sports stars, artists and many more…but we’ll start with scientists.
We have features on people like Dr Vincent Barry, a mild mannered, softly spoken scientist who devoted a large part of his life to finding a cure for leprosy.
Despite numerous setbacks, he succeeded and is now credited with having helped to save the lives of more than 15 million people.
We also look at the career of Francis Beaufort. If you go sailing on the sea, you may have Beaufort to thank for keeping your boat afloat in stormy weather.
If you have ever needed to go to hospital for an injection then you might like to read about Francis Rynd, the Irish doctor who made your treatment possible by inventing the hypodermic syringe.
The list of great Irish scientists goes on. Harry Ferguson revolutionised agriculture across the world with his revolutionary ideas about tractors.
John Philip Holland invented the first workable submarine which was quickly snapped up by the US Navy and later adopted by Britain and others.
Louis Brennan played with a reel and some cotton as a child. Years later he had vision and the genius to see how the principles behind his childhood games could be used to develop the world’s first guided missile.
Robert Mallet became known as the father of seismology due to his work on earthquakes which is still highly regarded by leading scientists today.
Please click through to find out more about these extraordinary Irish inventors. We’ll be adding more over the coming weeks.
We’ll also be looking at other outstanding Irish contributions in other fields including sport, literature, worldwide politics and more.