The Starmus festival moves to Norway

Location: Trondheim

The world’s most ambitious science and music festival is moving to Norway with an impressive lineup including Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize-winning scientists and legendary musicians.

Trondheim, the technological capital of Norway, will be hosting the fourth Starmus festival on 18–23 June 2017.

Under the title “Life and the Universe”, the festival will showcase the best from both the academic and cultural world. The academic superstar Stephen Hawking will present to his largest audience ever, and other confirmed participants include some of the world’s leading scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry and medicine – in addition to a legendary cosmonaut, astronauts and an award-winning composer.

More names will be announced in the next month.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) will host the festival, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway, Trondheim municipality, Sør-Trøndelag county municipality and the Research Council of Norway.

About Starmus:

The Starmus festival was established in 2011 by astrophysicist Garik Israelian. His aim was to make the most universal science and art accessible to the public. The first three festivals were held in the Canary Islands.

The Starmus board consists of Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Alexei Leonov, Robert Williams, David Eicher, Jack Szostack and the festival’s founder, Garik Israelian.

“A very exciting opportunity.” Stephen Hawking

“After three successful festivals in The Canary Islands, it is an honour to be invited to the scientific capital of Norway, Trondheim, to expand Starmus and reach even greater heights.” Garik Israelian, founder of Starmus.

About Trondheim and NTNU:

Situated just above 63 degrees north, the coastal city of Trondheim has a population of more than 188 000. NTNU is the largest university in Norway, with some 39 000 students and 6700 full-time equivalent staff.

NTNU has the main responsibility for higher education in technology in Norway, and it is the country’s premier institution for the education of engineers. The university offers several programmes of professional study and a broad academic curriculum in the social sciences, teacher education, humanities, medicine and health sciences, economics, finance and administration, as well as architecture and the arts. 

Trondheim has a vibrant cultural life, and the city hosts festivals in genres such as jazz, blues, chamber music, world music, rock and pop. During the Starmus festival in June 2017, the sun will go down at midnight and rise at 3am.

About confirmed speakers:

·      Stephen Hawking – British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

·      May-Britt Moser – Norwegian Professor of neuroscience and Founding Director of the Centre for Neural Computation and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 together with Edvard Moser and John O’Keefe for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

·      Edvard Moser – Norwegian Professor of neuroscience, Founding Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Co-Director of the Centre for Neural Computation at NTNU. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 together with May-Britt Moser and John O’Keefe for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

·      Alexei Leonov – retired Soviet/Russian cosmonaut and Air Force Major General. On 18 March 1965, he became the first human to conduct extravehicular activity, exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk.

·      Charlie Duke – American engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer, test pilot and former astronaut for NASA. As lunar module pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972, he became the tenth and youngest person to walk on the Moon.

·      Robert Williams – astronomer who served as the Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute from 1993 to 1998, and the President of the International Astronomical Union from 2009 to 2012.

·      Alan Stern – American engineer and planetary scientist and the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Chief Scientist at Moon Express. Stern has been involved in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including eight for which he was the mission principal investigator.

·      Brian Eno – British musician, composer, record producer, singer, writer and visual artist. He is best known for his pioneering work in ambient and electronic music as well as his influential contributions to rock, worldbeat, chance, and generative music styles.

·      George Smoot –  American astrophysicist, cosmologist and one of two contestants to win the US$1 million prize on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with John C. Mather.                           

·      Adam Riess  – American astrophysicist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. Known for his research on the use of supernovae as cosmological probes. Riess shared both the 2006 Shaw Prize in Astronomy and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics with Saul Perlmutter and Brian P. Schmidt for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

·      Jill Tarter  – American astronomer and former director of the Center for SETI Research. She has worked on a number of major scientific projects relating to the search for extraterrestrial life.

·      Michel Mayor – Swiss astrophysicist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Geneva's Department of Astronomy. He is co-winner of the 2010 Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize, and the winner of the 2015 Kyoto Prize. Together with Didier Queloz, he discovered 51 Pegasi b in 1995, the first extrasolar planet orbiting a sun-like.      

·      Robert Wilson – American astronomer and 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation. The award purse was also shared with scientist Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, for unrelated work.

·      Walt Cunnigham – retired American astronaut. In 1968, he was the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission. He was NASA's third civilian astronaut (after Neil Armstrong and Elliot See), and has also been a fighter pilot, physicist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author of The All-American Boys, lecturer, and host of the radio show Lift-off to Logic.

·      Susumu Tonegawa – Japanese scientist who was the sole recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987, for his discovery of the genetic mechanism that produces antibody diversity. Today he is one of the world’s pioneers on studies of the substrate of memory in the brain.

Photos from the Press conference i Trondheim will soon be available at this adress:

Attached files
  • Situated just above 63 degrees north, the coastal city of Trondheim has a population of more than 188 000. NTNU is the largest university in Norway, with some 39 000 students and 6700 full-time equivalent staff. Photo: Maxime Landrot / NTNU Comm.Div.