Ada Blair MA Speaks at
Mayo Dark Sky Park
Dr. Frances Clynes
The Board Walk at the Dark Sky Park in Ballycroy, County Mayo, Ireland. Photo: Brian Wilson
April 22nd to 28th 2017, was International Dark Sky Week. Dark Sky Week is a global event organised each year by the International Dark Sky Association, the organisation responsible for awarding dark sky status and levels to dark sky places around the world. Ballycroy National Park and Wild Nephin Wilderness, in Co. Mayo, Ireland, is a gold tier Dark Sky Park. As part of their celebration of Dark Sky Week, they invited Sophia Centre graduate Ada Blair MA to speak at two different venues on consecutive nights.
Ada's dissertation for her MA investigated the effects of dark skies on human wellbeing on the world's first dark sky island - Sark in the Channel Islands. The dissertation, Sark in the Dark, has been published by the Sophia Centre Press.
Ada's two talks on 27th and 28th April were extremely well attended and received. She had previously given this talk at the 2016 Sophia Centre Graduate Conference in London and at SEAC 2016 in Bath, but adapted it slightly to include references to the Mayo Dark Sky Park. For example, Ada had learnt that in certain parts of the park the Milky Way is believed to cast a shadow. Most of the attendees were locals and by the end of the talk Ada had inspired more than one local to consider undertaking some research of the effects of the Mayo Dark Skies.
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