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This weekend at CIT's Blackrock Castle Observatory

This weekend at CIT's Blackrock Castle Observatory

Published on: Sunday, 04 April 2010

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory prides itself as a centre that provides “scientific stimulation in a fun and unique environment”. This energetic concept is highlighted through BCO’s regular astro-related events. The most popular of these entertaining windows for science are First Fridays at the Castle held on the first Friday of every month.

First Fridays at the Castle is a free event held in association with Cork Astronomy Club that features lectures by visiting scholars, guided stargazing in Blackrock Castle’s courtyard and workshop activities for children. The next First Fridays at the Castle event will run from 6-10pm on the 2nd April. The theme for April is 2012 – Is it really the end? Tony O’Hanlon discusses Mayan astronomy and their calendar, what the astronomical situation will be on Dec 21st 2012 and finishes with what the really long term outcome of our planet might be.

Cosmic Calendar is the April title for family friendly workshops which run on the half hour from 6-8pm. The workshops are facilitated by Frances McCarthy, Blackrock Castle Observatory’s in house astronomer teacher.

At 7pm, Cork Science Café, affiliated to the international Café Scientifique movement, is an active space where anyone can drop in and explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Cork Science Café features guest scientists talking in laymen's terms about their work in topical and controversial areas. This relaxed and informative approach that “makes science accessible” has proven a successful concept as Café Scientifique is now established in over forty cities across Europe. The guest speaker on the night is Dr Dylan Evans who will explore the theme of time and risk perception.

Join us stargazing in the courtyard with the Cork Astronomy Club & and be part of Global Astronomy Month exploring the theme One People One Sky.
There is ample free parking and the Castle Bar and Trattoria is open til late.

Friday 2nd April

Dr Dylan Evans explores the theme of Time and Risk Perception.

Dr Dylan

What does the future hold and how can we know?

Dr Dylan Evans will tell the story of how he set up a social experiment in 2006 to explore what life would be like if civilisation collapsed in the first half of this century and ask whether this is a good way to explore possible futures.

Dr Evans is a lecturer in Behavioural Science at the School of Medicine, University College Cork. He writes regularly for The Guardian and has made frequent appearances on radio and television, and given numerous talks at festivals of science and literature. In 2001 he was voted one of the twenty best young writers in Britain by the Independent on Sunday , and is the author of several popular science books, including Emotion: The Science of Sentiment (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Placebo: The Belief Effect (Harper Collins, 2003).

Commenting on the programme, Clair McSweeney, Facilities Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory said “Cork Science Café aims to demystify science and increase awareness and understanding of technology, innovation, research and the sciences generally. Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork’s Space for Science and a landmark public venue, is well placed to facilitate Cork Science Café, sharing as we do a vision of a city where enquiry enriches our lives and drives our industry.”

Cork Science Café is affiliated to the international network of Café Scientifique first organised in the UK in 1998 based on the French Café Philosophique. While French scientists thought they ought to inform the public more on topics within the science community, in the UK the movement was started by members of the public who wanted to know more about science. In both countries it moved out of an academic structure into popular locations, attracting wider audiences.

Saturday 3rd April


Circo Scientifico


At 10pm, CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory presents Circo Scientifico, an exciting first instalment of its new monthly PULSE programme. An evening of Illusion, Aerial Dance, Clowning, Film and Music is promised for all from a wide range of local and international performers and scientists. Be prepared to be amazed, awestruck and enthralled as the mysteries of science are explored through the elements of circus.


PULSE at Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO), is a renaissance showcase where art, science and technology come to play together in the space age multimedia environment of the centuries old Castle.

Hanging from the gated archway at Blackrock Castle, Chloe de Buyl-Pisco will perform a flying dance on aerial silks demonstrating the dancer’s use of Newtonian Principles! Her extensive professional career as a dancer, choreographer and performer means she brings a uniquely graceful quality to aerial silks as well as strength and technicality. She will dance, suspended above the ground, transporting imagination to the very limits of time and space as she masters them both.

Revel at the world class poi spinning of Guillaume Cousson as he whirls flaming spheres of fire around his body and our hearts, in the stunningly beautiful Castle courtyard.

Meanwhile, the dangerously charming Castle Ringmaster, Arran Towers, will take you by the hand and lead you out to other worlds in outer Space, literally stepping into the Ring of Time, deep into the heart of the Circo Scientifico! This is where you will experience Fernando Hernandez Tunon's incredibly illusory installation piece. No words can describe this experiential mystery and certainly no one else on earth has ever attempted such a feat. Marrying together a live interactive and improvised show involving the audience, projected performers and time itself.

Seasoned clown and physical actor Carlo Jacucci will invade all spaces irreverently as his multiple personae come to life. Be interrupted by his accordion as odd accompaniments fill the air with mesmerising melodies and laughter.
Enjoy films, shorts and online clips onscreen at Circo Scientifico where the mysteries of science continue to amaze the brightest minds on Earth.

Presenting the backbone sonic stream Dj Dr Fiasco has the best vinyl collection known to The People's Republic. He’ll keep the dancefloor hoppin til the early hours with his voodoo jazz and vaudeville vibes.

“Pulse is inspired by the fascinating connections between the arts and science. In recent times, the two areas are seen as quite separate, but creativity, exploration, discovery and imagination are, in fact, equal traits of the artist and the scientist.There are some fascinating examples from early history through to the modern day of great thinkers, scientists and inventors with a holistic approach to making meaning of the world we live in, - people like Pythagoras, DaVinci, Michelangelo through to Albert Einstein”, said Clair McSweeney, Blackrock Castle Facilities Manager. “Circo Scientifico at Pulse celebrates this synergy and re-examines the separation of the arts and sciences – particularly, in relation to ways of knowing and learning in education through entertainment.”

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