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Science Week Tuesday - 10th November

Soil Health is our Wealth

On Tuesday the focus was on soils and the importance of protecting soil health from degradation for human wellbeing.

If you missed anything on the day of this event, catch up by watching the recording below!

Soils are diverse and multifunctional living ecosystems, underpinning most of our food and fibre production, but also other critical natural services for society, including the re-cycling of nutrients, atmospheric CO2 sequestration and water regulation. As soils are a limiting resource, protecting soil health from degradation is critical for human wellbeing. Join us  to hear about  soils and their impact on society. RTÉ’s Damien O’Reilly brings us on this virtual event.

Panelists - Q&A


Soils (and their functions) impact Societies – Luis Lopez-Sangil
History is full of examples of humans benefitting from healthy soils, but also how soil degradation can lead to dire consequences. Luis introduces us to the importance of the main soil functions for human wellbeing.

Food production – Guylain Grange
95% of food and fibre production for humans is literally based on soils. A healthy soil improves food productivity and makes it more resilient to environmental threats, from Climate Change to fertilizer shortages. Guylain shows us a good example of how farmers can manage soil health.

Carbon Sequestration - James Rambaud
Do you like fizzy water? James explains visually why it’s important to capture carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere and lock it up in the soil through plant photosynthesis and land management.

Nutrient & Waste Recycling – Ian Kavanagh
Food production generates lots of waste byproducts… why not transforming a problem into a solution? Ian tells us about the opportunity for farmers to use waste & food residues to return lost nutrients back in the loop, increasing soil fertility.

Biodiversity - Speaker Aoife Duff
There are literally billions of soil microorganisms in a handful of healthy soil, and they are essential for sustaining life on Earth, and many of the soil functions. Aoife and colleagues show us different techniques soil scientists use for identifying good (and bad) microorganisms in soils.

Water regulation – Ognjen Zurovec
Did you ever think that the water we drink has been filtered through soils? Soils have different ability to purify and retain water, which has direct implications on how an area cope with flash-floodings downstream and summer droughts. Oggy will guide us through the mechanisms involved, giving graphic examples of the relation between soil and water!

Land management - Lilian O’Sullivan
Soils are diverse, and each soil type has a different ability to carry out each of the functions above. Lilian will show us the effort put by researchers at Teagasc Johnstown Castle to develop information and management tools, available to the society, for taking the best decisions to protect our soils’ health.