Piazzi Smyth Symposium2019-07-21T21:36:18+01:00

Piazzi Smyth Symposium

Charles Piazzi Smyth fascinates a wide range of people – Astronomers, Historians, Photography experts, Egyptologists, Art lovers, and the public in general – especially Edinburgh citizens who are fascinated by the history of their City. During Sept 2-4 2019 we are holding a series of events to celebrate the life and work of Charles Piazzi Smyth, and his talented partner in life and science, Jessica. All the events are open to the public and will take place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, George Street, Edinburgh.

Tickets are available for all events through a University of Edinburgh registration page.

There are three events to choose from:

Movie Screening

On the evening of Monday Sept 2nd there will be a screening of “A Residence Above the Clouds”, a 2016 film directed by Guillermo Carnero-Rosell, which records the experiences of Scottish and Spanish students coming together in Tenerife to try to reproduce Piazzi Smyth’s classic experiments in Mountain Top Astronomy. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion centering on the issues raised in the film. Read more detail here.

Public Lecture by Denis Pellerin

On the evening of Tuesday Sept 3rd, Denis Pellerin will give a public lecture entitled “Piazzi Smyth: Royal Astronomer and Stereo Photographer”. Denis is from the London Stereoscopic Company, and is the archivist for the huge Brian May collection of stereo photographs. Denis will talk about the past, present and future of stereo photography, and Piazzi Smyth’s place within it. The audience will be given special glasses to see the live stereo projected images.The lecture will be followed by a wine reception for all ticket holders. Read more detail here.

Symposium: Stars, Pyramids, and photographs

During the day on Sept 3rd and 4th we will have two full days of talks and debate by experts and researchers on topics related to the life and legacy of Charles Piazzi Smyth – mountain top astronomy, photography, meteorology, and pyramidology. What did he do, and what has happened since? Although the presentations will be by experts, our aim is to make as much as possible accessible to a wide audience. The registration fee for the symposium includes lunch and coffee and tea breaks on both days, and entrance to the movie screening and public lecture. Read more detail here.

Registration / tickets

You can register for all events – Symposium, movie screening, public lecture – for £45. This includes lunches and tea breaks, and a wine reception at the public lecture. Alternatively, you can get a ticket for just the movie screening for £4, or just for the public lecture including wine reception for £8. To book your place, go to the registration page.


The Symposium has been made possible by support from:

  • School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh
  • The University of Kent

Symposium Events

A Residence Above The Clouds: Film Screening

2 September @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm BST

Charles Piazzi Smyth Symposium

3 September - 4 September

Public Lecture by Denis Pellerin

3 September @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST