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Astronaut Chris Hadfield en Route to Dublin as part of The UCD Festival

Jasper Tunney, Eddison Kwik, Sophie Wallis and Micah Pratesi pictured at the programme launch for The UCD Festival 2022. A celebration of culture, science and innovation, this year's event will take place on Saturday, June 11th with over 130 free events across the university's Belfield campus.

The programme for The UCD Festival 2022 has just been announced. Described as a major celebration of culture, science and innovation, this year's event will take place on Saturday, June 11th with over 130 events across the university's Belfield campus. This festival will include live performances, masterclasses, interactive science displays, creative workshops and a host of family-friendly activities as well as a BBQ area with live DJs. All events are free for the public to attend and open to all.

Amongst the programme highlights announced today, the legendary Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be in attendance as part of one of the festival's flagship ‘In Conversation’ events. Hadfield who has orbited the Earth hundreds of times, and famously sang David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station, will be in conversation with Dr Niamh Shaw about all things space, science and fiction writing.


For lovers of culture, there will be poetry readings, exhibitions, museum tours and performances throughout the campus. Actor and writer Mark O’Halloran will be hosting a “writing masterclass for stage and screen”, the “UCD Symphony Orchestra in Virtual Reality” event will allow visitors to try out a VR headset that will transport them to an immersive 360-degree concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Visitors can take a guided tour of the National Folklore Collection or explore the collection of ancient artefacts in The UCD Classical Museum. Inspired by world cultures, the ZoryAnna Tribal dance troupe will be performing on the festival's main stage during the afternoon.

Science, Technology & Innovation

This year’s festival will highlight the innovation and research that takes place on UCD’s Belfield campus with a range of workshops, talks and demonstrations. Visitors can see Pepper the Robot, the world’s first social humanoid robot with the ability to recognise faces and basic human emotions. There will be opportunities to meet experts in the fields of 3D Printing and Artificial Intelligence at the “Shaping the Future of Manufacturing with I-Form” event or discover the life-saving clinical trials taking place at the UCD Clinical Research Centre. Visitors can experience the latest in immersive technology with the Virtual Reality UCD LAB Demonstrations or learn about Bitcoin at the “Cryptocurrencies and Web3” talk. The Sustainable Engineering workshop will provide demonstrations exploring how engineering and design can play a role in sustainability.

Children & Family Events

This year's festival will provide a unique opportunity for budding scientists and creative minds to explore all that university life has to offer. The Medtronic Junior Hospital is an interactive, experiential space, where young people get the opportunity to immerse themselves in a unique mini-hospital setting. The Intel Science & Innovation Zone will host exciting hands-on experiments, there may even be an explosion! The Roman Military Society of Ireland will be back, bringing ancient Rome to life, children will get an opportunity to meet Roman Legionnaires and learn about classical history. The Law in the Classroom workshop will give kids a basic understanding of the legal world while the GAA Skillzone will provide sports activities to kids over the course of the day.

Speaking at the programme launch, Sheila Morris, Curator of the UCD festival, encouraged audiences to come and be inspired:

“The UCD Festival is a gathering of students, researchers, educators, and thinkers for a major celebration of the best of UCD, across the arts, science, technology, social justice and sport. It’s completely free and open to members of the public, of all ages and backgrounds, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of knowledge and explore behind the scenes at one of the world’s leading universities. We would encourage members of the public to come and be inspired. ”

The UCD Festival will take place on June 11th from 12-6 pm. All events are free but booking may be required for some events. UCD is served by 11, 39a, 46a, 47, 145 and 155 bus routes and is located within walking distance of Sydney Parade train station.

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