What is STARMUS?
Brian May, founding guitarist of the rock band Queen, completed his PhD dissertation in Astrophysics in 2007. His advisor was Garik Israelian, and as both of them are musicians as well as astronomers, they came up with the idea for STARMUS, a festival celebrating stars and music.
STARMUS aims at making astronomy, space sciences and the arts accessible to the general public, while bringing together the brightest minds in these areas.
The first STARMUS festival was held in Tenerife, Canary Islands in June 2011 with the theme “50 years of Man in Space”. The second festival was held in September 2014 at the same location with the theme “Beginnings: The Making of the Modern Cosmos”.
This year the third STARMUS III is being held on Tenerife and La Palma, Canary Islands from 27 June till 2 July 2016 with the theme: “Beyond the Horizon – Tribute to Stephen Hawking”.
This festival will bring together eleven Nobel Prize laureates in different fields: David Gross, Joseph Stiglitz, Adam Riess, Brian Schmidt, Robert Wilson, François Englert, Eric Betzig, Carol Greider, Elizabeth Blackburn, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser.
In addition the most high-profile scientists and science communicators in the world are participating, such as Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Roger Penrose, Brian Cox, Richard Dawkins, Brian Green, Kip Thorne, Martin Rees, Jill Tarter and Carolyn Porco. Eugene Kaspersky, cybersecurity expert, futurist Peter Schwartz and mathematician and engineer Danny Hilis are also contributing.
A great innovation this festival will be the award of the “Stephen Hawking Medal Science Communication” that will be presented by Stephen Hawking himself, in recognition of contributions to science popularisation in the areas of Science, Art and Cinema.
Your correspondent is at the STARMUS III festival in Tenerife and will write daily blogs on this website, reporting on the highlights of each day.