A woman, on the right, leans on a telescope holding a cardboard cut out of a black rocket with a light blue outline. On the left a young girl holds a mixing bowl in one hand and a cupcake shaped cardboard cut out with pink and blue sprinkles and a black background in the other hand. The cupcake is meant to look like a plume of smoke coming out of the end of the rocket.
Pictured are (left to right): Etain Hamilton-Birdy, aged 10 and Dr. Niamh Shaw preparing for Baking In Space at Cork Discovers, 26 November 2020. ©

Photos by Stedman Photography

How will we live in the future?  

What will we eat?  

Will we run out of flour again?

‘Baking In Space’, the sell-out family event of Science Week Ireland 2018-2020, created by Dr. Niamh Shaw and Andrew Smyth, has grown from a single Science Week event in Dublin back in 2018 to a nationwide tour in 2020!

British Council are thrilled to be co-producers of the show, alongside our funding partners Yakult and Science Foundation Ireland. With local Irish researchers and special guests from the European Space Agency, together we take the time each year to explore the surprising connections between everyday bakes and the extraordinary engineering that helps keep astronauts alive in space.

With lots of live demonstrations, tasting and audience interaction, your curiosity will be whisked, stirred, and taken out of this world…

For some fun activities you can still partake in as part of the Baking in Space shows scroll to the bottom of the page where we've included a link to The Ark Activity Pack and our Facebook playlist highlighting just some of the fun things that audiences have had a chance to partake in over the years!

Niamh Shaw and Andrew Smyth at the show in Smock Alley. They're standing behind a large table-top where they're performing a cooking demonstration. Behind them there is a giant screen with the Baking in Space logo.
Our first show back in 2018 as part of Science Week. We held a single event in the Smock Alley theatre with Dr. Niamh Shaw, Andrew Smyth and special guests.
A selfie of Andrew Smyth and Niamh Shaw posing with a whisk during a Baking in Space event. Behind them on a screen is the Baking in Space logo.
In 2019 we took our Baking in Space show on the road for the first time with two shows in Dublin (Smock Alley), one in Galway (The Black Box) and one in Cork (Kino Venue).
A computer screen. With Andrew Smyth on the left hand side of the screen looking enthusiastically at the person on the right hand side of the screen who is holding a rainbow cake.
In 2020 we had our most ambitious shows yet, and all of them virtual. We did a whistlestop tour of Ireland, with events in Dublin, Wexford, The Midlands, and Limerick as part of Science Week and a show in Cork as part of the Cork Discovers Festival. We even had our first ever international show, with a UK targeted event as part of Science Week!


Andrew Smyth is an aerospace engineer, baker and presenter. As a finalist on the Great British Bake Off in 2016, he grew a firm following for his outrageously engineered creations.  

Since leaving the tent, he’s presented a live cooking segment on ITV’s Lorraine, appeared as an expert contributor on shows for Discovery Science and the BBC, and even baked a rotating jet engine cake for Prince William. He currently divides his time between researching Future Aircraft at Rolls-Royce, teaching patisserie classes and presenting his “bakineering" live shows around the UK and Ireland https://www.cakesmyth.com/    

Dr. Niamh Shaw is passionate about people and curiosity, and all things space. A polymath with 2 degrees in engineering, a PhD in science and almost 20 years of performance & writing experience, she has been providing events for the general public at Science Week Ireland since 2014. On a mission to be writer-in-residence at the International Space Station, Niamh wants to connect with a wider global community using space stories to highlight sustainability issues and responsible behaviour as Earth citizens.  

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she provided the 'Space Hub' series of segments for RTE's 'Home School Hub' educational series, and recently launched a new podcast series  'Humans of Space' and an online family video series  'Galaxy Squad'. Her first book 'Dream Big- an Irishwoman's Space Odyssey' from Mercier Press was published in March 2020 and she writes regularly for BBC’s Sky at Night magazine - https://www.niamhshaw.ie   

Special Guests Over the Years

Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut when in May 1991, aged 27, she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station. She was selected from over 13,000 applicants but didn’t think she stood a chance of being chosen when she applied, after hearing an advert on the radio on her way home after work.  

After MIR, Helen became a science communicator and corporate speaker, winning numerous prizes for radio and TV programmes and for her inspirational talks on teamwork, STEM, science communication and motivation. Helen has not returned to Space but, like every other astronaut, she would love to go into Space again, experiencing the weightlessness, the camaraderie… and the amazing and beautiful views of Earth and the stars. 

Since our last Baking in Space event during Science Week 2019, Romain Charles has taken up a new role at CNES (French Space Agency), leading up the Spaceship Earth programme. While at ESA Astronaut Centre, he provided crew support for European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts heading to the International Space Station (ISS), including the current commander of the ISS, Alexander Gerst. Romain also participated in Mars500, a 523 isolated experiment as analogue Mars astronaut. 

Dr. Aidan Cowley is part of the Exploration Preparation, Research and Technolgy Team (ExPeRT) and is based at the ESA Astronaut Centre in Cologne. There, alongside the team, he works on developing the technologies needed for future human spaceflight and sustainable exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Lana Salmon (EIRSAT), Rachel Dunwoody (EIRSAT), Ronan Wall (EIRSAT) & Jessica Erkal (from last years EIRSAT team)

British Council are proud to be a part of Baking in Space as it reinforces our commitment to science and the arts. Baking in Space helps develop audiences that wouldn't traditionally access science events and through our continued development of the programme we have been able to showcase Baking in Space across the country. 

External links