😀 To Face: A Scientific Exploration of Emoji

This is a community event supported by Science Gallery Dublin.  If you have an idea for a small community event you would like to host, email events@dublin.sciencegallery.com for more information. 

Emojis. Every day across the globe, billions upon billions of these colourful icons are sent between phones, laptops and all sorts of digital messaging devices. Their soaring popularity has lead them to be described as the fastest growing communication tool in all of human history. But what is the significance of a face crying with laughter, a pair of clapping hands, or even a smiling pile of poo? Where did they come from? What’s driving their popularity across the globe? And are they changing our perceptions, or even our behaviours?

"😀 To Face: An Scientific Exploration of Emoji" seeks to both address and explore some of these questions. Taking place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of May between 1pm and 5.30pm in Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery, members of the public are invited to donate some time to the emergent body of research related to emoji uses at various experiment booths. The experiments featured have been coordinated by Keith Broni, an emoji research consultant, and Richard Roche, neuroscientist and Senior Lecturer at Maynooth University. The event will also feature various presentations on emoji: their origins, how new icons are created, their technical features and their influence over pop culture at large.

Keith Broni is an Emoji Translation Consultant & Researcher for Today Translations, where he provides clients with emoji insights. He has an MSc in Business Psychology from University College London and has discussed his work with the BBC, VICE, Ryan Tubrity and has presented at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Richard Roche is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Maynooth University. His areas of interest are neuroscience/neuropsychology, particularly memory, stroke, psychosis and synaesthesia. He is also strongly committed to science outreach and public engagement.

Emoji designs featured in event iconography provided by EmojiOne and licensed under CC-BY 4.0.


  • Date: 
  • Time: 
  • Where: Studio 1
  • Price: Free - Please Register
  • Register Now

What’s On