Starmus, the place have we come? | Science | EUROtoday

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Many individuals ask me why Stephen Hawking mentioned that the Starmus pageant is “a ray of hope, (…) a unique space for debate for the future of the human race”? In the primary version we’d have mentioned that this hope was a dream, that of making a novel assembly level with science, music and the celebs. After celebrating our seventh Starmus, and in a context as turbulent as the present one, Hawking's phrases make extra sense than ever, and that’s the reason we felt the duty to dedicate this version to the way forward for our planet.

Starmus was a dream that I had the chance to provide form to between 1999 and 2011 with the Queen guitarist – additionally a health care provider in astrophysics – and at the moment my nice buddy Brian May. He helped me perceive and focus that dream exterior of the scientific atmosphere — he’s an individual who would have the ability to characterize the human race in a primary assembly with aliens! After a lot debate concerning the thought and agreeing that we have been each impressed by stars and music, nearly with out realizing it, we had provided that dream a reputation: Starmus (acronym for stars and music, in English).

We celebrated the primary version in 2011 in Tenerife and La Palma. Nobody believed that Neil Armstrong was going to come back to the islands to provide a chat and take part in a 108-minute spherical desk on the Gran Telescopio de Canarias! Neither did Brian May, or Richard Dawkins, among the many many audio system who ultimately we managed to get them to wager on that first Starmus. Much of that skepticism was because of the lack of institutional help. How was this pageant going to succeed with out political help and public financing or giant corporations?

It solely took that version for Stephen Hawking himself to really feel impressed by Starmus, he even grew to become a member of our advisory board and introduced the pageant's candidacy for the Prince of Asturias Award. It was apparent that we weren't going to win it, however he mentioned: “Don't worry, in a few years Starmus will win a more prestigious place in the world.” His involvement within the mission was the elemental impetus to dream massive. Together we created the Stephen Hawking Medal, a brand new and prestigious recognition of the good work that many individuals are doing to construct that bridge between science and society via music, cinema, and the plastic arts.

After the third version in 2016, devoted to Stephen Hawking, Starmus started its journey around the globe and is at the moment thought-about “the most ambitious science communication festival in the world.” The main worldwide newspapers have described it as one thing “out of this world”, just like the “Glastonbury of science”.

Brian and I gave a whole lot of thought to the significance of science and the large energy of music to create a novel occasion the place contributors can get pleasure from giant doses of inspiration by studying the newest information on the planet of science via talks from the brightest minds and having fun with performances by the good inventive abilities of our time. An area and time the place scientists, inventors, engineers and artists change concepts and create synergies. Like a science Olympics however with out competitors, or a Davos with the people who find themselves making the actually nice contributions to our society. Is it doable?, we requested ourselves.

That's what made Stephen Hawking fall in love with Starmus; It is the one science and music pageant whose major goal is to encourage most people. He, the good scientific determine of the Twentieth-Twenty first century, was impressed, at simply 14 years previous, by his arithmetic trainer Dikran Tahta. Born right into a household of Armenian immigrants who escaped the genocide, he went on to change into a legendary professor within the United Kingdom who impressed a whole era of English scientists. “He encouraged me to think creatively about mathematics. “He opened my eyes to mathematics as the blueprint of the universe itself,” Stephen instructed us. And that’s the essence of Starmus, science from inspiration.

I imagine that Starmus has to play this similar position—bringing hundreds of scholars and youngsters nearer to assembly such inspiring figures as astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, inventors—and creating a brand new era of future Stephen Hawkings.

That is the mission that we’ve got imposed on ourselves for the reason that fourth version: Starmus is now not “just” displays and concert events, however we take science to the streets and to the educational subject (universities, colleges) with our Starmus Camp. And on this seventh version we’ve got promoted this greater than ever: we’ve got created a program for college college students and colleges with exhibitions, talks, workshops and out of doors displays. We have additionally celebrated, for the primary time, “Starmus4Schools”, an occasion aimed completely at kids and adolescents between 5 and 17 years previous who’ve had the chance to fulfill Jane Goodall and astronaut Chris Hadfield. A stadium with greater than 3,500 youngsters!

We have simply closed the seventh version and we’re amassing figures, however it actually appears that Starmus has as soon as once more surpassed itself. Almost 100,000 individuals have participated within the final 'Starmus Camp' held in 2022 in Armenia, with greater than 80 talks in colleges and universities. Chris Hadfield himself confessed that he has seen many occasions in his life, however Starmus Armenia has been probably the most spectacular when it comes to attain and impression on individuals. The similar factor has occurred to us nowadays in Slovakia; The universities reiterated to us that it’s the largest dissemination occasion that the nation has ever held.

We are particularly enthusiastic about our seventh Starmus which we closed on Friday. We have managed to type probably the most inspiring and multidisciplinary debate on the way forward for our planet: we deal with the good local weather problem, Artificial Intelligence, the brand new house race, geopolitics, the way forward for power and rather more. And we’ve got accomplished it with an distinctive godmother, Jane Goodall, who’s already a member of the Starmus Advisory Board and winner of the Stephen Hawking Medal in 2022. She is just not solely pure inspiration, however has hope because the epicenter of her legacy , one thing that reconnects us with Hawking's thought about Starmus (the ray of hope).

The pageant began with a cosmic live performance by Jean-Michel Jarre with a particular efficiency by Brian May with which we undoubtedly marked a milestone by bringing collectively on stage, for the primary time of their many a long time of profession, these two nice legends of music. These are the issues that solely occur in Starmus! More than 100,000 individuals gathered in Bratislava, at this nice musical occasion, to have fun the start of Starmus.

Our 4-day program of displays has introduced eight Nobel Prize winners reminiscent of Kip Thorne, Michel Mayor and Emmanuelle Charpentier to Bratislava; astronauts like Charlie Duke, Kathryn Thornton, Chris Hadfield and Garret Reisman; entrepreneurial visionaries like Tony Fadell; nice voices of the power future reminiscent of Pietro Barabaschi and lots of extra top-level figures.

Furthermore, one other of the musical novelties that we’ve got introduced this yr is that our Stephen Hawking Medal ceremony and our most emblematic live performance – Sonic Universe Concert – has debuted with punk-rock with the enduring The Offspring. The live performance gave attendees one other distinctive second with a really particular efficiency; For the primary time, The Offspring shared the stage with Brian May. Again; Only at Starmus do these collaborations happen!

Without a doubt, I can say with satisfaction that this seventh version has consolidated our mission of bringing science to most people and galvanizing a brand new era of scientists, inventors and artists. It is nearly overwhelming to see how that dream has managed to fly so excessive for Hans Zimmer himself to say “forget the Oscars! Starmus is the event to come to!”

Now that the pageant is just not solely flying excessive, however is already consolidating a trajectory with an ideal horizon, many ask me: “Will Starmus return to the Canary Islands one day?”

After 4 editions away, there’s a actual chance that the pageant will return to the place, and for the place, it was designed. The Canary Islands. More than two years in the past, the Government of Spain despatched three million euros to the Government of the Canary Islands, throughout the Funds for the Recovery of La Palma.

After greater than two years of submitting documentation, after acquiring the newest extension for the supply of funds, and after having the proposal introduced by the organizers authorized, there may be now a threat of shedding the chance to return to the island, as a result of of the paperwork that surrounds this kind of funds.

Usually the organizers current the venue for the following version, on the finish of the present version, and regardless of all of the efforts on the a part of the High Commissioner for the restoration of La Palma, the Cabildo of La Palma in addition to the organizers, to obtain the cash earlier than the beginning of Starmus VII in Bratislava, it has been bureaucratically not possible.

Five delegations from cities and international locations serious about internet hosting the following editions of Starmus have attended Bratislava and, though La Palma is a precedence for us, we’ve got to have a look at the way forward for the pageant, its continuity and its stability. Let's see if the phantasm of returning to the islands manages to light up the black gap the place the “file” for the allocation of funds is situated.

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