Ingenious Mary: Innovative Irish Science Journalist Leaves a Formidable STEM Legacy


The premature death has taken place of Irish journalist

CAPTION: Mary Mulvihill with an orrery at an exhibition in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainam, Dublin, March 2015. (Photo by Brian Dolan, used with permission)

As her own LinkedIn page pointed out, she was

On a mission to tell everyone how ingenious Irish ideas have changed the world . . . and passionate about women in science and technology, and sustainability.

Mary was a tireless pioneer in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) promotion, a champion of women’s overlooked historical role in this arena, and an unwitting catalyst of geek tourism in her native country. (The innovative walking tours she developed will continue to be offered.) She was also passionate about the environment, and was a avid cyclist. Her amusingly titled book Drive Like a Woman, Shop Like a Man (2009) was touted as being ‘a practical guide to cheaper, greener living.’

CAPTION: Ingenious Ireland: A county-by-county exploration of Irish mysteries and marvels.

Unquestionably, of the numerous books she conceived and saw to completion, Ingenious Ireland: A county-by-county exploration of Irish mysteries and marvels (496 pages, 2002) made the biggest impact. For this, she was declared the Irish National Science and Technology Journalist of the Year 2002-3, the judging panel describing the tome as “a meticulously researched and hugely impressive book”.

Sean Duke, in his lovely tribute to Mary and her editorial role at Technology Ireland, agrees,

“If any teacher is trying to inspire their students to take an interest in science, I’d urge them to read this book. It’s Mary’s masterpiece, based on an immense amount of research, meticulous fact-checking and proofing, and writing flair.”

The stark reality of Mary’s unexpected death last week in the prime of her professional —> Read More