Friday 24 November 2017 to Sunday 26 November 2017

Richard III, or at least a 3D printout of his remains, is making his first visit to Ireland for Science Week 2017.

In partnership with British Council Ireland, the ‘Richard III Discovered’ exhibition will travel from the University of Leicester and be hosted by NUI Galway as part of the 20th Galway Science and Technology Festival.

The discovery of King Richard III’s skeleton has been the scientific detective story of the decade. The team behind both the discovery and identification of the King's remains, known as the Grey Friars project, will present the science to audiences, children and adults alike, through a special programme of activities in Galway from 24-26 November. This presents a fantastic opportunity to learn how the combination of genetics, genealogy, archaeology, history, forensics and some real-life CSI (crime scene investigation) was used in solving an historical detective story of a missing body.

'Richard III: Life, Death and DNA' Exhibition  

A team of scientists from the University of Leicester will talk through their work to find and identify the King who had been lost for 500 years - includes lots of personal stories and inside gossip! The exhibition consists of a display panel, a 3D replica of the skeleton of Richard III and a full suite of medieval armour, as well as various other interactive elements for audiences to engage with:

  • Learn about the inheritance of segments of our own DNA
  • A dice game to show the probability of the skeleton found being King Richard III
  • Medieval weaponry
  • Children’s fun activity sheets
  • Free wristbands to take away

Friday 24 November, 10am-3pm, Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. 

Students from secondary schools will be facilitated in groups of 20 for a twenty minute visit to the exhibition.

Saturday 25 November, 10am-4pm, Galway Shopping Centre. Public viewing.

Sunday 26 November, 10am-6pm, O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance, NUI Galway. Public viewing as part of the Galway Science & Technology Exhibition day. 

'Richard III: The King under the car park - Talk by Mathew Morris, Friday 24 November, 4-5pm, Aula Maxima, NUI Galway

“Richard III – The King under the car park” talk by Mathew Morris, Archaeologist, University of Leicester. The discovery of King Richard III’s remains during an archaeological excavation in 2012 was a world-wide sensation; a 500 year old missing persons case bought to life through modern archaeological and forensic investigation.

In "Richard III: The king under the car park", Mathew Morris, one of the lead archaeologists on the Grey Friars Project, will reveal how this amazing discovery was made; examining the background to the project, showing how archaeologists knew where to look and what was found during the excavation, and taking a close look at how forensic scientists were able to successfully identify 500 year old skeletal remains as Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England (d.1485).

Mathew Morris graduated from the University of Leicester in 2003 with a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Landscape Studies. Since graduating, Mathew has excavated a wide range of rural and urban archaeology from the prehistoric period to the Industrial Revolution. In 2011, he co-authored Visions of Ancient Leicester and in 2012, he led excavations looking at the medieval St John’s Hospital in Leicester, a late Roman cemetery just outside the city and the world famous, as well as the Grey Friars Project, an archaeological search for the last known resting place of Richard III. 

'King Richard III: Life, Death and DNA' - Keynote talk by Dr Turi King: Sunday 26 November, 1-2pm, Human Biology Building, NUI Galway

Most of us probably associate Richard III with Shakespeare's famous play and the King’s dark character in it. Richard III of England ruled for just two years and was the last King to die on a battlefield – these two facts alone are enough to provoke our interest. Richard III was accused of cruel deeds and, as with his mysterious life, his death raises a number of questions. In August 2012, the University of Leicester undertook one of the most ambitious projects when archaeologists, historians and DNA experts joined forces to discover the remains of Richard III. How did the work go and what was unearthed – Dr Turi King will tell us through a lively, interactive talk about their personal involvement in the discovery of Richard III. 

Turi King is Professor at the University of Leicester, a prominent expert in Genetics and Archaeology and Head of the International Research Team working on the DNA identification of Richard III. She is a passionate communicator of science and a frequent guest on radio and television. She read Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. Before moving into Molecular Genetics, Turi specialised in Biological Anthropology.