Karen Daly describes how Irish soil science was born in medieval Johnstown Castle with funds from the US Marshall Aid Plan. Daire O hUallacháin illuminates the extent of the decline in Irish biodiversity from abandoned Aran Islands farms to the mainland dairy farms. Irish river systems are under pressure from excess nutrients and climate impacts. Per Erik Mellander describes some of the findings from monitoring of diverse Irish river systems over 10 years. Find out about the upcoming plans for Teagasc’s ‘Festival of Farming and Food’ this Science Week. Diarmuid Sheehan, Kieran Jordan, Kieran Meade and Rob O’Hara feature in news.