Analysis > Will Goodbody

Should Ireland join the European Southern Observatory?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Over the last couple of days on RTÉ News platforms, we’ve been exploring the structure, facilities, work and discoveries of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) – Europe’s foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation. We’ve also been teasing out the costs and benefits of joining ESO, which is what many astronomers who are part of the small but active and growing community here want. Having travelled to Chile to see first-hand what ESO’s observatories are like, I can …

The Apple tax ruling and the implications for its Irish operations

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The Apple tax ruling is an extraordinary multi-faceted and many layered story, with implications regionally, nationally, internationally. The announcement that the amount of unpaid taxes owed by the Cupertino based company was of the order of €13bn, likely induced sharp intakes of breath among foreign multinational executives here. But regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation, what does it all mean for Apple’s operations in Ireland, for the tech industry here, and the …

Proxima b – has a new Earth been discovered?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Scientists have announced that they have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting the closest star to our own solar system. It is big news, opening up the prospect that another world, which could potentially harbour life, is right on our doorstep (well in space terms anyway). What exactly has been found? For a number of years, astronomers have been busily engaged in a search for extrasolar planets or exoplanets. These are planets that orbit …

Pokémon Go – what’s all the fuss?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent If you haven’t already, you should expect to hear a good deal about Pokémon Go over the coming days and weeks. It hasn’t even officially arrived here in Ireland yet, but already it’s getting a phenomenal reaction in the places where it has been launched. That will undoubtedly lead to it also becoming a huge hit when it arrives on Irish shores too. So what is Pokémon Go? Made by the Japanese company …

Juno’s mission to Jupiter explained

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Over the next few days, indeed months, you are likely to hear quite a bit about a spacecraft called Juno and its mission around Jupiter. It’s an exciting project, which could yield many answers to questions about the origin of the planet, and of the solar system as a whole. After a five year journey, NASA's spacecraft Juno will arrive at Jupiter early tomorrow morning.https://t.co/mtp1f1Tie3 — RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 4, 2016 Why …

Counting the cost of Brexit for science

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent “It’s a disaster”. That was Nobel Prize winning physicist Peter Higgs’ response when I asked him for his reaction to the result of the Brexit referendum, just hours after it was delivered last Friday. And he wasn’t alone in his views. Indeed a few weeks earlier, Professor Higgs had been among 13 Nobel Prize winning scientists who had warned losing EU funding of science would put British research “in jeopardy”. “Inside the EU, …

Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn – an inspired play or big gamble?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent As takeovers go, Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn is pretty massive. In fact, it is Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition – and over the years it has bought quite a few other companies. The deal will see the software firm pay $196 per share for the professional social network. That’s a tasty 49.5 per cent premium on LinkedIn’s closing share price last Friday. Its shareholders must be rubbing their hands in glee. Last year LinkedIn’s …

Growing anger in the Irish science and research community

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent In the early 1990s, Irish scientists were angry. Cutbacks in already reduced funding for research, inadequate grants for post-grads and a lack of resources for equipment led to a ground swell of resentment among the science community here. The Irish Research Scientists Association was formed and a lobbying campaign began. And when its voice eventually became loud enough, the government of the time started to take the concerns seriously. Almost of quarter of …

Why the resistance to tackling antibiotic resistance?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent There are certain issues which people know are serious, but for whatever reason choose to bury their heads in the sand about. Climate change is one obvious one. Despite decades of warnings that our manmade carbon emissions are effectively overheating our planet, only in the last two or so years has the global community woken up to the reality of the danger and started to take action – possibly too late. Antimicrobial drug …

A wake-up call for government on digital skills

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent As journalists, we generally try to deal in facts. But sometimes, anecdotal evidence is far more compelling and indeed trustworthy. I regularly meet the managers of technology business operating here – from massive global multinationals, to tiny early stage start-ups. As well as probing what’s going well for them, and their plans for the future, I often make a point of asking them about the challenges they are facing. For some, it’s scaling rapidly, …

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