Feb 8, 2022

Schrödinger Theatre to be Named ‘Physics Lecture Theatre’

The name was chosen in the 1990s to celebrate Schrödinger and his contributions to quantum theory.

Mairead MaguireDeputy Editor

The Schrödinger lecture theatre will now be called “Physics Lecture Theatre”, after staff and students in the School of Physics called for its renaming in light of revelations about the physicist’s abuse of young women and girls.

The annual Schrödinger lecture series will be changed to the “What is Life?” lecture series, with discussions to continue in the coming months about what this will entail.

In an email statement to The University Times, Trinity Media Relations Officer Catherine O’Mahony said: “This is a complex situation and the School of Physics has approached it in a careful and considered manner.”


“The current approach continues to honour the indisputable scientific contribution of Erwin Schrödinger, while acknowledging disturbing information – much of it from Schrödinger’s own diaries – which is now also known.”

The theatre was originally named Physics Lecture Theatre but the name was changed in the 1990s to celebrate Schrödinger and his contributions to quantum theory.

The School of Physics executive recommended the change to the Provost last month.

Suggestions for a new name included the Walton theatre for Ernest Walton, who is known for splitting the atom. Another possibility is that it be renamed after a female physicist.

In an email to physics students and staff at the time, Head of School Prof Jonathan Coleman said: “There was a diversity of opinion on how the School and College should react, but it was clear that a large majority of both staff and students now favour changing the name of the lecture theatre in the Fitzgerald Building that has borne his name since the 1990s.”

A petition lobbying for the change has raised over 200 signatures.

In a survey conducted by third-year theoretical physics class representative Ruaidhrí Campion, almost two-thirds of undergraduate physics students said they wanted the lecture theatre to be renamed.

Coleman added: “Naming it for another person could well be seen as a tainted honour after it had been previously been named for such a controversial person as Schrödinger.”

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