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Three Irish Scientists Who Made Outstanding Contributions To Society

This week is National Science Week which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland with the intent to promote the potential that science and discovery offer Ireland, today and in tomorrow’s world.

The Garda Post takes a look back at three Irish scientists who have made outstanding contributions to society through their work.

Robert Boyle


Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was born at Lismore Castle in Co. Waterford.

Sometimes referred to as “The Father of Chemistry”, he is famous for Boyles Law.

Boyles Law states that the pressure and volume of a gas are inversely related at constant temperature. Science students in schools across the country still learn about this today.

John Tyndall 


John Tyndall was a 19th century physicist born in Co. Carlow.

Tyndall discovered why the sky is blue.

Known as the Tyndall Effect, his discovery proves  the sky’s blue colour results from the scattering of the Sun’s rays by molecules in the atmosphere.

He is also known for creating practical inventions such as a safe miners’ lamp, a powerful lighthouse beacon and the first practical gas mask.

Vincent Barry 


Vincent Barry was born in Cork in 1908.

In the 1940s Barry developed a cure for leprosy.

Along with a research team, the Irish scientist who originally was researching Tubercolosis, turned his attention to the bacteria that causes TB having similarities to the bacteria that causes leprosy.

He started to look at how his research on TB could be applied to leprosy.

An estimated 15 million people owe him their lives.


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