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Dr. Mairéad Hurley

Assistant Professor (Education)


Dr Mairéad Hurley is a lecturer in the School of Education, and a member of the Science & Society research group. Her research interests lie at the intersection of science communication, education, and public engagement, with a particular interest in research and practice in non-formal learning environments that connect the STEM disciplines with the arts. She is increasingly focusing her work on issues of climate justice and democracy in education, through her role as Principal Investigator of the €2.4M Horizon Europe project LEVERS, and as lead for Trinity College Dublin's participation in the Critical ChangeLab project, led by the University of Oulu. Prior to joining the School of Education, she was Head of Research & Learning in Science Gallery Dublin, where she led the €3M European Commission funded SySTEM 2020 project, which mapped informal science learning in 22 countries. She holds a PhD in astronomy (Dublin City University), a Professional Diploma in Education (University College Dublin) and a B.Sc in Physics & Astronomy (National University of Ireland, Galway)
  Non-formal Science Education   SCIENCE COMMUNICATION   Science Education   science teacher education   STEAM Education   STEM EDUCATION
 LEVERS: Learning Ventures for Climate Justice

Details Date
Member: Expert Advisory Board for Education and Public Engagement at CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices. 2021
Mairéad Hurley, Deirdre Butler, Eilish McLoughlin, STEM Teacher Professional Learning Through Immersive STEM Learning Placements in Industry: a Systematic Literature Review, Journal for STEM Education Research, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Debruyne, Christophe, Grehan, Laura, Hurley, Mairéad, Kearns, Anne, O'Neill, Ciaran, One year of DALIDA Data Literacy Workshops for Adults: A Report, ACM, 2022, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Hurley, M., Rhinehart, A., Bell, P., Brown, A., Price, N., & Roche, J., Designing for future action: How STEAM programming can support youth engagement in community changemaking projects, Connected Science Learning, 4, (1), 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Artificial Intelligence and Teaching Values in Science in, editor(s)Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos , Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics, Springer International Publishing, 2021, pp1-8 , [Hurley, Mairéad, D'Arcy, Grace], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI
Mejias, S., Thompson, N., Sedas, R. M., Rosin, M., Soep, E., Peppler, K., Roche, J., Wong, J., Hurley, M., Bell, P., & Bevan, B, The trouble with STEAM and why we use it anyway, Science Education, 105, (2), 2021, p209 - 231, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Brown, A., Hurley, M., Perry, S., & Roche, J., Zines as Reflective Evaluation Within Interdisciplinary Learning Programmes, Frontiers in Education, 6, (675329), 2021, p1 - 10, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Roche, J., Bell, L., Hurley, M., Jensen, A. M., Jensen, E. A., Owens, B., D'Arcy, G., Gonzalez, J. R., & Russo, P., Perceptions of the European Space Sector: Youth Engagement With Space Education Events, Frontiers in Education, 6, (750952), 2021, p1 - 6, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Roche, J., Bell, L., Hurley, M., D'Arcy, G., Owens, B., Jensen, A. M., Jensen, E. A., Gonzalez, J. R., & Russo, P., A Place for Space: The Shift to Online Space Education During a Global Pandemic, Frontiers in Environmental Science, 9, (662947), 2021, p1 - 6, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Durall, Eva, Perry, Sophie, Hurley, Mairéad, Kapros, Evangelos, Leinonen, Teemu, Co-Designing for Equity in Informal Science Learning: A Proof-of-Concept Study of Design Principles, Frontiers in Education, 6, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Brown, A., Roche, J., & Hurley, M., Engaging migrant and refugee communities in non-formal science learning spaces., JCOM: Journal of Science Communication, 14, (4), 2020, p1 - 7, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL

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Mairéad Hurley, Debunked: Data Literacy For Adults Evaluation Report, ADAPT, the SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology , January 2023, 2023, Report, PUBLISHED
Darling, O., Hurley, M., Grehan, L., Kearns, A, A Data Literate Ireland: The Case for a Whole-of-Government Approach to Data Literacy Skills Development in Ireland, December, 2022, Report, PUBLISHED
Hurley, Mairéad & Colclough, Mary, RISING: Findings from a Creative Climate Action Programme, 2022, Trinity College Dublin, 2022, Report, PUBLISHED
Zolotonosa, M., and Hurley, M., Reshaping science learning: Findings and recommendations from SySTEM 2020, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, 2021, Notes: [Relevant to Irish and European STEM education policy.], Report, PUBLISHED
Hurley, M., Butler., D., McLoughlin E., Immersive STEM Learning Experiences to Shape Shared Futures, Dublin, Dublin City University, November, 2021, Notes: [Relevant to national STEM Education Policy (2017-2026)], Report, PUBLISHED


The key direction of my research revolves around justice-oriented and transdisciplinary approaches to science learning, particularly in the context of climate and democracy education. I aim to explore innovative and inclusive practices that bridge the gap between art, science, and technology, fostering collaboration and engagement in both formal and non-formal learning environments. One of the key aspects of my research is transdisciplinarity, which entails breaking down disciplinary boundaries and integrating diverse knowledge systems and perspectives. By incorporating elements of art, science, and technology, I seek to create meaningful learning experiences that promote holistic understanding and address complex societal challenges. This approach encourages learners to engage with real-world problems, promoting critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. Another crucial aspect is the focus on justice-oriented practices. I aim to ensure that science learning is accessible, equitable, and inclusive for all individuals, irrespective of their backgrounds or circumstances. By addressing social and educational inclusion, I strive to create learning ecosystems that empower marginalized groups and promote fairness and justice. Methodological development and critique form an integral part of my research. I continuously explore and refine research methods and approaches that align with the transdisciplinary nature of my work. This involves adopting participatory research methodologies, engaging stakeholders, and promoting co-creation of knowledge. Public engagement plays a significant role in my research agenda. By leveraging the power of art, science, and technology, I aim to engage the public in meaningful conversations and interactions related to climate and democracy education. Through exhibitions, workshops, and other interactive platforms, I seek to foster dialogue, inspire action, and increase awareness of the interconnectedness between science, society, and the environment. Ultimately, my research aims to contribute to the field by serving as a conceptual and empirical anchor. By constantly reflecting on the relative weight and significance of the different aspects of my research, I aim to adapt and evolve my approach to ensure its relevance and contribution to the broader field of science education.