Hail, the King — Science and Technology Festival brings Richard III saga to Galway

The ‘Richard III Discovered’ Exhibition arrives from University of Leicester and will be hosted by NUI Galway as part of the 20th Galway Science and Technology Festival in collaboration with British Council Ireland. The discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton has been the scientific detective story of the decade. Special guest of the Galway Science and Technology Festival Dr Turi King, Professor at University of Leicester, a passionate communicator of science will recount the story of a most ambitious Greyfriars project which led to the discovery of the remains of King Richard III in 2012. The Galway Science and Technology Festival is part of the SFI National Science Week.

The exhibit led by colleagues Dr Turi King and Mathew Morris from University of Leicester shows how science and technology was used to discover a body during an archaeological dig under a council car park in Leicester which led to the identification through DNA of King Richard III’s skeleton.

This event presents a fantastic opportunity to learn how the combination of genetics, genealogy, archaeology, history, forensics and some real-life CSI (crime scene investigation ) was used in solving an historical detective story of a missing body.

‘NUI Galway is thrilled to host this wonderful exhibit and team as part of the Galway Science & Technology Festival. The Exhibit shows how a team of historians, archaeologists, geneticists and engineers solved the puzzle of finding remains that could be that of the Richard III, King of England, and then confirming that they were using genetics and genealogy. I look forward to hearing details on what myths about Richard III may be de-bunked from analysis of Richard III skeleton and genome. The exhibit is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in science, archaeology, history and drama,’ commented Prof. Donal Leech, Dean of Science, NUI Galway.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet the Richard III team from University of Leicester who will talk through their work to find and identify the king who had been lost for 500 years. The 3D replica of the skeleton of Richard III will be on view along with an array of exhibit items exploring everything from cancer cells to plasma rockets. These include a suit of medieval armour and weaponry and children are welcome to take part in other interactive elements including fun activity sheets. Something for all the family.

“Our team at the University of Leicester, UK is very excited to bring the ‘Richard III Discovered’ exhibit to Ireland as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival. This will be Richard’s first journey across the Irish sea (well, the first journey for his 3D replica skeleton at least! ) and will be a unique opportunity for festival visitors, young and old, to find out the latest research into the King’s life and death.

“They will also get the bones of the story – so to speak - of the discovery of Richard beneath a car park in Leicester five years ago and will learn how science, and specifically Richard’s own DNA, can reveal lots of secrets from past’ – Dr Turi King, head of the international research team investigating the DNA of the last Plantagenet monarch. ‘It’s a great detective story and a really good way of showing how science can be applied to real-life problems. The kids seem to really enjoy seeing the skeleton - I think because most kids will never have seen one (albeit a fake one ) before.’

“We are delighted to collaborate with the Galway Science Festival to bring the world renowned Richard III story and exhibit to Ireland this year for the first time. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities and who better than Richard to bring together our work across the arts, science and education and to further strengthen our partnership with Galway as it builds towards European Capital of Culture in 2020’ – Alf Desire, Director, British Council Ireland.

The ‘Richard III Discovered’ event runs for three days with a talk by Matthew Morris, the archaeologist, will present ‘Richard III, the King under the car park’ at 4pm con Friday 24thNovember and the exhibit will open to students from post-primary schools who will be facilitated in groups of 20 for a twenty-minute visit in the O’Donoghue Centre in NUI Galway.

On Saturday November 25 the exhibition will be transferred to Galway Shopping Centre and will be open for public viewing from 10am to 4pm.

On Sunday November 26 the exhibition will return to the O’Donoghue Centre in NUI Galway for the Galway Science and Technology Exhibition Day for visits by members of the public. While the exhibit is free of charge, numbers are limited – tickets are available on www.galwaysicence.eventbrite.ie

On Sunday 26th November Dr Turi King will present ‘King Richard III: Life, Death and DNA’ - an insightful lively interactive talk about her involvement in the discovery. Families and members of the public are invited to attend and tickets are bookable free of charge and will be released online from Saturday 18th November at 11am at www.galwaysicence.eventbrite.ie

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