Outreach

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I’ve taken part in many outreach activities during my research career. Some highlights include:

2019 – Astronomy on Tap. I gave a talk on Black Hole Astronomy in the Chestnut pub in Birr. We also showed off our virtual reality black hole experience. Four PhD students also attended and gave talks and arranged black hole related activities for 60 first year students earlier in the day. This was arranged with the Birr Castle Observatory.

2019 – Mayo Dark Skies Festival. Myself and 5 PhD students attended this great event on thewest coast of Ireland. I gave a 1 hour talk on Black Hole Astronomy and the students also showed off our virtual reality black hole experience before and after the talk.

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2019 – Culture Night. We presented our VR black hole experience at Dunsink Observatory. We had an unbroken queue of people using the VR for almost 4 hours!

2019 – Pint of Science. I gave a talk on Black Hole Astronomy in the Mercantile pub in Dublin. We also showed off our virtual reality black hole experience.

2016 – CQG+ article. I wrote an article for a general science audience for the blog of the ‘Classical and Quantum Gravity’ journal.

2016 – Press conference at the April APS meeting. I presented our recent work on rapidly spinning black holes to a panel of science journalists. This resulted in the publication of two popular science articles on Space.com and ScienceNews.org.

2015 – Science by the pint. SbtP_spring2015_frontThis outreach event took place at the Aeronaut Brewery in Cambridge, MA. After a short talk by Scott Hughes we discussed black holes with members of the public over a pint or two.

2013 – Gravitational-wave astronomy: opening a new window on our universe. This talk was given to the UCD Physics Society and explored the exciting new field of gravitational-wave astronomy and what it will teach us about the universe.

2011 – Multi-Messenger Astronomy: seeing and hearing the universe as never before. This talk was aimed at 16-17 year olds studying for their GSCE’s and A-levels and was given as part of the TEAtime lecture series. This talk explored the idea that we can learn a lot more about the universe than we can by just examining it with the optical light visible to our eyes. Not only can we look at different spectrums of light, which alone reveal spectacular new vistas of the heavens, but we can also look at the neutrino emissions given off when stars explode as supernovae at the end of their lives as well as listening to the gravitational waves given off when two black holes collide.

2010 – Black Hole Mirrors and the Self-force. TEAtime poster This was a TEAtime lecture series public talk given as part of National Science and Engineering week. The talk explored the subject of my PhD research, namely modelling gravitational radiation (ripples in space and time) given off when a compact object, such as a neutron star or a stellar mass black hole, orbits very close to a massive black hole (such as the one 26,000 light years away, at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy). The banner at the top of this page is a photo taken during this public lecture.