The Critical ChangeLab team at Trinity College Dublin combines the expertise of researchers in the Science & Society research group and the Trinity Long Room Hub’s Democracy Forum.

The Science & Society research group is based within the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin. The group explores the myriad ways science influences society, and vice versa, including its role in technological, political, social and environmental systems. The group is active in science education and public engagement with science across formal and non-formal learning settings, with a focus on participatory processes that foreground creativity and inclusion. The Democracy Forum applies Trinity’s research in the Arts and Humanities to questions at the interface of media, technology, and democracy.

Based in the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Forum draws on the unique strengths and expertise of the Arts and Humanities: long-term perspectives, critical analysis, and imagination. It puts questions related to identities, societies and cultures at the centre of its work, responds to the importance of lived experience, and recognises the ‘human factor’ in technology, media communication, and political administration. Working with media practitioners and civil society organisations the Forum is committed to translating research into real-world practice and activity.

Together the team apply interdisciplinary perspectives, experiences, and approaches to the Critical ChangeLabs in Ireland.


Dr Mairéad Hurley

Dr Mairéad Hurley is co-convenor of Trinity College Dublin’s Science & Society research group. Her research examines science education and science communication 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 Horizon Europe project LEVERS, as well as through the Critical ChangeLab project.  
Prior to joining the School of Education, she was Head of Research & Learning in Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. She holds a PhD and B.Sc in astronomy, and a Professional Diploma in Education.  

Ellie Payne Elspeth

Ellie Payne Elspeth (Ellie) Payne is the Coordinator of the Democracy Forum  and a Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute. She is also the co-creator and co-host of the History of the Future podcast, which has been shortlisted in three categories in the Irish podcast awards. Ellie has worked on several related projects, including Community Engagement Praxis for Research in the Arts and Humanities (CEPRAH), Rethinking Democracy in an Age of Pandemic series, and the Crises of Democracy Global Humanities Institute. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Irish History from Trinity College Dublin and a BA from the University of Oxford.  

Caitlin White

Caitlin White is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Education at Trinity College, Dublin, where she works on the EU-funded Critical ChangeLab project. She is passionate about making education accessible and available to the public. She has featured in RTÉ’s documentary ‘The Silent Civil War’ and has written exhibitions on Clerys department store and the National Archives of Ireland. Her research interests include modern Irish history, using the past to envision the future, critical literacies, commemoration, memory, global citizenship education, and workshop design.