How does our memory work? What’s the difference between remembering how to ride a bike and recalling people’s names? Is it possible to improve your memory? An exhibition in the Science Gallery is looking for the answers, writes BRIAN O’CONNELL
REMEMBER A NAME but can’t match it with a face? Good with numbers but useless at childhood recollections? Led by Prof Shane O’Mara of Trinity College, Memory Lab is a month-long experience at Science Gallery in Trinity College, which invites the public to take part in a range of scientific experiments aimed at examining how our memory works.
In the new Hollywood thriller, ‘Limitless’, Bradley Cooper plays a failing writer who uses a top-secret ‘smart drug’ to unlock his brain’s potential. SYLVIA LEATHAM asks TCD neuroscientist Prof Shane O’Mara for a reality check on how the brain works.
#ECF11: Not doing more with less, but doing more of what we tell you
Imagine this:Times are hard. A business gets into trouble, and begins to scale back its costs by telling its various departments to do more with less. Where last year, you had X for your budget, now you have 75% of X. No bother, the departments say, and off they go, doing more with less.Now let’s say the CEO of the business says ‘actually lads, in addition to the doing more with less stuff, we won’t let you go out and get funds from elsewhere–certainly not the head division–which might actually make the business some money and take some of the pressure off others. Not only that, we’ll make sure any incentive you had to do more with less is taken away. In fact, theSorry, what? That’s insane. Why wouldn’t they want a situation where the best people in the business did what they did best and brought in funds to allow it to grow? Why wouldn’t they incentivise non-core expansion with promotions, bonuses, and back slapping opportunities? Why wouldn’t the business accept that you can’t cut too much too quickly, especially at the bottom otherwise the business will die at its roots?That’s exactly what is proposed in the revised and expanded Higher Education Authority’s Employment Control Framework (ECF), signed by the last Minister for Finance as he was cleaning out his desk. Ireland’s universities receive a block grant from the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the government. The HEA has the purse strings, and the ECF is its way of tightening them.
How can the HEA know so little about the sector it purports to be the champion of? The ECF as presented is an absurd and ridiculous document utterly at variance with the meanginful operation of a vibrant third- and fourth level sector, properly connected to the health, wealth and future growth of the economy and nation.
Should we all now desist from applying for employment-creating and network-generating non-exchequer funding, vital to the sector and the country?
DICK AHLSTROM, Science Editor
DO YOU forget names seconds after an introduction? If so, then come along to the Science Gallery where you can participate in experiments in an exhibition called Memory Lab.
More here: http://sciencegallery.com/events