Blog > diversity and equality

60 Years of Innovation: BT Young Scientist Exhibition Spotlights AI, Diversity, and Mental Health

60 Years of Innovation: BT Young Scientist Exhibition Spotlights AI, Diversity, and Mental Health

Dublin, Ireland: The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), a cornerstone event in Ireland’s academic calendar, is celebrating its momentous 60th year. This year's exhibition, which runs until Saturday at Dublin’s RDS, promises to be a reflection of modern concerns, with a focus on artificial intelligence, diversity, inclusion, and mental health.

A Platform for Emerging Trends: The exhibition has become a vibrant platform for over 2,000 young Irish researchers to showcase their groundbreaking projects. This year, a strong emphasis is seen on topics like artificial intelligence, including issues related to ChatGPT, showcasing the evolving landscape of scientific inquiry among Irish youth.

Health and Wellbeing in the Spotlight: To commemorate its 60th anniversary, BTYSTE has introduced a new category: health and wellbeing. This category will stand alongside others such as social and behavioral sciences; technology; chemical, physical and mathematical sciences; and biological and ecological sciences.

Shay Walsh, Managing Director of BT Ireland and the event's organizer, remarked, "This is a momentous year. The exhibition has been a launch pad for many incredible careers and has played a pivotal role in the development of our country."

A Tribute to Six Decades of Success: Dr. Tony Scott, co-founder of the exhibition, expressed amazement at the event's longevity and impact, "It's amazing to see an idea grow and last for 60 years and maybe even 60 more." John Monahan, the first-ever winner of the exhibition and a judge for the past decade, echoed this sentiment, praising the exceptional talent and rising standards of student work.

A Global Stage for Young Scientists: The BTYSTE is not just a national event but a gateway to international recognition. More than 200 prizes from a fund of €50,000 will be awarded, including the prestigious BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year award. The winners will represent Ireland at the EU Contest for Young Scientists in Katowice, Poland, where Ireland boasts a strong record of success.

Opening Words from President Michael D Higgins: President Higgins, who will open the exhibition, highlighted the significance of being a young scientist today. "There has never been a better time to be a young scientist. The choices you make have important implications, not just for your own time, but for the possibility of life itself," he said.

Looking Forward: As Mari Cahalane, head of BTYSTE, puts it, "The BTYSTE is a fantastic platform for students to develop and showcase ideas to improve our world." With a strong legacy and a keen eye on the future, the BTYSTE continues to inspire and propel young minds towards scientific and technological frontiers.