The Green Party’s Eva Dowling has officially launched her bid for a Seanad seat today (26.02.20), running as Ireland’s first ever “science candidate”.
Cllr. Dowling MSc– who was elected to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on her first attempt last year – is running on the NUI panel for the Seanad election.
A Green Party activist for eight years, Cllr. Dowling says she wants to place science firmly at the heart of policymaking.
Her Seanad bid has been endorsed by leading figures in Ireland’s science community, including Ann O’Dea, founder of Silicon Republic and Future Human; Bill Liao, angel investor, entrepreneur, co-founder of Coder Dojo and founder of WeForest.org; and Professor Patrick Cunningham, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government.
Commenting today, Cllr. Dowling said: “I am delighted to formally announce my bid for a Seanad seat, and to highlight that I’m standing on a science platform. I believe science has a crucial role to play in policymaking.
“If we are to tackle the major challenges currently facing our country and the wider world – such as the climate and biodiversity crises – we as politicians need to listen to scientists and place science firmly at the heart of our work.
“As we continue to work in the era of ‘fake news’, it is vital that our laws are evidence-based, as opposed to interest-based and that a scientific approach is taken to drafting and scrutinising legislation.”
Cllr. Dowling outlined five key issues she will prioritise, if elected to the Seanad:
- Making science central to resolving the climate and biodiversity crises;
- Advocating for a fully independent Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government;
- Securing increased funding for discovery research;
- Working with higher education institutions to improve Ireland’s university rankings; and
- Working to establish a science museum for Ireland, recognising the country’s contribution to science and research over many centuries.
Commenting on Cllr. Dowling’s campaign, Professor Patrick Cunningham, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Irish Government, said: “As far as I am aware, Ireland has never before had a science candidate seeking election at any level of government. The growing place of science in our lives and economy is the mark of a modern, competent and competitive society. With her strong background and commitment, Eva Dowling will bring a new level of vision and effectiveness to this area in the work of the Seanad.”
Cllr. Dowling has been heavily involved in Ireland’s science community for over a decade. As a science communicator, she works with some of Ireland’s leading minds in science and technology, across the private and public sectors.
In the leadup to the 2018 referendum, Eva founded and convened the ‘Scientists for Yes’ platform. The campaign brought together over 2,000 signatories from Ireland’s science community, including Ireland’s only living Nobel Laureate for the sciences, William C. Campbell.
She holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh.
Other well-known supporters of her campaign include:
- Dervilla M. X. Donnelly, Emerita professor of organic chemistry, University College Dublin
- Luke Drury, Emeritus Professor, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
- Pat Guiry, Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University College Dublin
- Dr Tomás Ryan, Assistant Professor, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institutes
- Dr Francis T. Smyth, Organic Chemist and Fulbright Scholar
- Dr Simon Kelly, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin
- Dr Elizabeth A. Moore, BA, BDS, Dentist
- Dr Sarah McLoughlin, research scientist and patient advocate
- Dr Claire Gillan, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin
- Paula Moore, BE MIEI AIMechE, Mechanical Engineer
- Seamus Sheridan, Co-founder of Sheridans Cheesemongers
- Catherine McGuinness, Zoologist and science communicator
- Vicky Twomey-Lee, Diversity in Tech and Maker Advocate