First Fridays at the Castle... Science; what’s life got to do with it?

First Fridays at the Castle... Science; what’s life got to do with it?

Published on: Wednesday, 04 May 2011

On Friday May 6 speakers and visitors to the open night at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory will probe the connections between life and science through a series of themed events. Saturn viewings will take place from 9pm and all activities are free.

First Fridays at the Castle is a monthly event at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory held in association with the Cork Science Café and the Cork Astronomy Club. It features lectures and discussions by visiting scientists, guided stargazing in the courtyard of the 16th century castle, free entry to Cosmos at the Castle and workshop activities for children.

BCO’s Frances McCarthy, in-house teacher and astronomer, will lead children to explore the topical questions raised at the science centre in a fun, hands on astro biology workshop. The Game of Life runs every half hour from 6-8pm.

The Cork Science Café is an informal event for people of all ages to engage with scientists and researchers in their community and see how their innovative work could improve our everyday lives. On Friday May 6, at 6.45pm at the Castle Café, Dr Conor O’Mahony from Tyndall National Institute’s Microsystems Research Centre will lead a one hour discussion on Microneedles: Painless Drug Delivery. Conor will introduce the technology behind this exciting research field and discuss its potential applications such as painless insulin and vaccine delivery. Can this new technology make painful syringes a thing of the past?

Mars, Venus (and Titan) and what´s life got to do with it?

The 8pm talk from BCO’s headline theatre is speaker Prof. Dirk Schulze-Makuch.

In his talk, Prof. Dirk Schulze-Makuch from Washington State University explores a range of planetary habitats found in our Solar System and beyond. Emphasis will be placed on Mars, Venus, Titan, and the Gliese 581 planetary system, and how life could have arisen and persist on these planetary bodies. If our current knowledge of chemistry, energy, and evolutionary tendencies is right, then extra-terrestrial life should exist and we should be able to identify habitats in which it thrives.

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory is proud to be hosting the Cork School Science Awards that Friday afternoon May 6. Come along afterwards to First Fridays at the Castle and celebrate with the Cork gold medal winners, the brightest and the best – the future of science!


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