And the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication was awarded to… Brian May

Guitarist and co-founder of the legendary band Queen, astrophysicist Brian May received what is probably the world’s highest award for scientific research and communication, the Stephen Hawking Medal by the Starmus Festival (Science and Music) yesterday in the Armenian capital. Since 2005, the medal has been named after the scientist who died in 2018, the discoverer of black holes and the person who explained the world from a wheelchair.

Every two years, Starmus celebrates its festival somewhere in the world and brings together dozens of musicians, astronauts, space explorers, scientists and world experts. For this VI edition, after the end of the pandemic, he chose the capital of Armenia. The reason for this edition is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of space exploration on the planet Mars, so the list of speakers is full of space travelers and engineers who have had something to do with this Martian curiosity.

The founder of the festival, astrophysicist Garik Israelian, of Armenian origin, started Starmus a decade ago on the Canary island of La Palma, but the lack of support from the Spanish government forced him to take it to more generous countries. with science, such as Switzerland or Norway, where the last two editions were held.

Brian May wasn’t the only winner. Researcher Jane Goodall also received her award for her decades of work with gorillas in the mountains of Uganda. “Every Starmus festival was unique and incredible,” warned the Israeli. “We tried to do everything to make the sixth edition of Starmus as historic and memorable as the previous one.

No one expected May to appear in Yerevan, but the organization’s driver picked them up at the airport at three in the afternoon, and just two hours later, in maximum secrecy, she was seen from afar, in the corridors of the auditorium. The event is hosted by a curvy white mani who walks with Professor Israelian, with whom May studied astrophysics. Also for the musician, his first visit to Armenia is of special significance, as he has always confessed that he is in love with the country and organized an international fundraiser in 1988 after the earthquake that devastated the country. Although he has somehow participated in every edition of Starmus and unexpectedly performed two or three of its musical themes, this year his artistic contribution will be much more, with a mini-concert next Wednesday. While in Armenia, he interrupted the world tour he is doing with the group for a few days.

About 2,000 people attended the opening of the festival this Monday night in Yerevan, this small and cozy city in the South Caucasus. It is estimated that 7000 will pass through the complex during the whole week Karen DmircianiA luxurious building from the Soviet era, after Armenia was part of the USSR, located on the outskirts of the capital.

The festival has just started. Students at Starmus partner institutions across the country will have the opportunity to hear from world-renowned scientists, astronauts and astrophysicists, including Jim Bagian, Kip Thorne, Charlie Duke, Nagin Cox, Joel Parker, David Eicher, Tony Fadel, Donna Strickland and Gene. – Jacques Dordin, by the way.

In the past, Starmus hosted various Apollo astronauts (including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin), Alexei Leonov, and Viktor Gorbatko. World-renowned scientists, 25 Nobel Prize winners and space explorers have shared their science on the Starmus stage, including Stephen Hawking himself, May-Britt Moser, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Elizabeth Blackburn, Donna Strickland, Jill Tarter, Kip Thorne, Robert Wilson, Michel. Mary, Edward Moser, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Tony Fadel and many other giants of science.

Stephen Hawking and Alexei Leonov, along with rock star and astrophysicist Brian May and his colleague Garik Israelian, worked to create the Stephen Hawking Medal, awarded to individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to science communication. Past recipients of the medal include Elon Musk, musician Jean-Michel Jarre, science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, and TV series producers. The big bang theory, physicist, writer and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalil; The soundtrack was composed by Hans Zimmer and the documentary Crazy about particlesDirected by Mark Levinson and produced by David E. Kaplan, Mark Levinson, Andrea Miller, and Carla Solomon.

Source: El Diario

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