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" Life on Mars(ish) "

By Dr. Niamh Shaw, actress/astronaut

(Award-winning STEM Communicator, Writer & Performer)

8pm Monday 13th of January

*Storm Brendan: Lecture is definitely going ahead*



The 2020 Astronomy Ireland NEW YEAR Public Lecture will be given by former Fair City actress/astronaut/scientist Dr Niamh Shaw.

Niamh played Frances McGuigan in RTE's Fair City 2007-8 and had other TV roles as well (see link to Fair City images below.)

But she formally trained as a scientist to PhD level.

Now she wants to become an astronaut and has simulated a mission to Mars.

In 2017 she went into the Utah desert to be sealed inside a capsule mimicking what it would be like to live millions of miles from Earth, making her one of the few humans who knows what it's really like to live on Mars.

Now Dr Shaw tours the world telling her story and experience of trying to become an astronaut.

For the 2020 New Year Lecture Dr Shaw will tell the fascinating story of becoming a scientist, giving it up to become a soap star, then pursuing a career as an astronaut.

"It must be one of the most unusual career paths in history, from scientist, to actor, to astronaut, and Niamh's story should make for one of the most fascinating ways to open a new decade, which also happens to be Astronomy Ireland's 30th anniversary!" said David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine and Founder of Astronomy Ireland.

The lecture is also being recorded on DVD for everyone in the 32 counties and can be pre-ordered below also.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME to the talk which is non-technical and suitable for young and old alike. No knowledge of science is needed.


Niamh is about to be punched (click for image): Fair City 1

Niamh being grabbed (click for image): Fair City 2

(for other images google "niamh shaw")





Dr Niamh Shaw is an Irish engineer, scientist and performer. She is passionate about igniting peoples curiosity and particularly interested in doing this by combining creativity with science topics. She presents the human story of science, creating theatre shows, public events and contributions to media with this focus. She has set herself a life's mission to get to space, as artist and explorer. She hopes that by sharing the human story behind such a venture, it will help us better understand our place in the story of space, and the beauty of our planet Earth.

Polymath Niamh Shaw combines performance, writing, and her degrees in science and engineering to ignite people's curiosity about planet Earth and our place in it. As Artist in Residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, she explores crossovers in STEM, art, space themes & communication to share the human story of science.

All of her activities are focussed towards fulfilling her life's work to get to space, to challenge perceptions of ourselves, and of our place in Space.  She has experienced a zero-gravity flight, witnessed live launches & landings of astronaut crews, completed over 20 EVA hrs as analogue astronaut at simulated Mars missions, and has studied & lectured at ISU's Space Studies Programme. She has spoken at events including WIRED Live UK, Space Rocks (ESA), NASA Johnson Space Centre, Inspirefest, New Scientist (UK), contributes to national science television and radio programming & writes regularly for BBC's Sky at Night magazine.

Niamh is the 2018 co-recipient of 'Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communications' awarded annually by Science Foundation Ireland and recently spoke at Áras an Uachtaráin in response to President Higgins speech celebrating Women in the Sciences on international Women's Day 2019.



After the lecture there will be a social reception in The Lombard Innand we encourage all of you to come along for a chat.

All are welcome to attend and free food will be kindly provided by The Lombard.

Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter sites - links on the left.

A prize draw will be held after the lecture.

Booking Information

Date Monday 13th January
Time 8:00p.m.

Physics Bldg, Physics Department , Fitzgerald Building, Trinity College Dublin.
There is an entrance on Lincoln Place (not far from the Merrion Square end of TCD). If you get the DART or bus to Pearse St, or drive. Use the Science Gallery entrance on Pearse Street (near the corner with Westland Row) There are maps here:  Here

Parking: Mark Street , Marks Lane , Lombard St. East .

Free Parking on the above streets after 7pm
Click HERE for a building map of Trinity College campus
Click HERE for Map of area

Admission €10 (€5 Astronomy Ireland members and concessions)
Tickets where possible should be booked in advance. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night, please come along 15 minutes early to accommodate.

Book online below

Call 086 06 46 555 to book tickets over the phone using Debit/ Credit Card
Send a cheque, Postal Order, or Draft, made payable to Astronomy Ireland, to: P.O. BOX 2888, Dublin 5.


This lecture is also available to people nationwide (32 counties) on DVD.
To order a copy of the DVD simply:
Order by credit or debit card online below, OR
call 086 06 46 555
Alternatively post a Cheque, postal order, or Draft to: Astronomy Ireland, P.O. Box 2888, Dublin 5.
Price: DVD's cost €10 each incl P&P (€5 Astronomy Ireland members)

Lecture January 2020
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Lecture DVD January 2020
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Acknowledgment: Astronomy Ireland would like to thank the TCD Astrophysics Research Group for hosting Astronomy Ireland public lectures in Trinity College Dublin.








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