Press Release: Starmus IV to land in Norway’s scientific capital, Trondheim, with an even more impressive lineup including Stephen Hawking, a host of Nobel Prize winners, scientists and legendary musicians June 18th to 23rd 2017


Please note Brian May’s attendance UNCONFIRMED
[LATER UPDATE: Brian unable to attend due to rehearsals]

Starmus 2017 Promo –

“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

• The previous three Stamus festivals were held in The Canary Islands and this fourth event will take the festival to Trondheim, the thrilling scientific capital of Norway.

• This new location will enable Starmus to flourish in a vibrant cultural setting. The coastal city of Trondheim combines beautiful landscape with scientific and cultural centres, including a Nobel Prize winning university with nearly a thousand years of academic traditions. It is viewed as the technological and scientific capital of the Land of the Midnight Sun and will provide the perfect backdrop for a festival that showcases the best from both the academic and cultural world.

• Starmus is renowned to be the world’s most ambitious science and music festival – the Guardian stated that the festival has “enough brains to fill a multiverse.”

• Starmus IV promises an even greater lineup of outstanding personalities in the fields of science education and space exploration, in addition to performances from the world’s greatest musicians.

• The festival will expand from audiences of 1000 to audiences of 10,000 plus.

• Stephen Hawking will present to his largest audience ever.

• Participants confirmed so far consist of a combination of some of the world’s leading academics in the fields of Physics, Chemistry and Medicine, in addiction to a legendary cosmonaut, astronauts and an award winning composer: Stephen Hawking, Alexei Leonov, George Smoot (Nobel Prize Winner), Adam Riess (Nobel Prize winner), Robert Williams, Robert Wilson (Nobel Prize Winner), May-Britt Moser (Nobel Prize Winner), Edvard Moser (Nobel Prize Winner), Charlie Duke, Alan Stern, Michel Mayor, Jill Tarter, Brian Eno, Walt Cunningham and Susumu Tonegawa (Nobel Prize Winner), Harrison Schmitt.

• More names to be announced next month.

• Tickets go on sale 24th October 2016

The stars of the international world of science will shine brighter than ever in Norway’s Trondheim, during the fourth Starmus Festival, to be held from June 18 to 23 2017. Under the title ‘Life And The Universe’ Starmus will once again celebrate a synthesis between science and music. The festival’s theme will be broad covering origin and evolution, the human brain, society and global issues. The Starmus board consists of Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Richard Dawkins, Alexei Leonov, Robert Williams, David Eicher, Jack Szostak and the festival’s founder, Garik Israelian – these great minds will devise an incredible programme, recruiting the most intelligent, creative and artistic beings on the planet.

Starmus and its scientific and musical legacy:

Starmus Festival was born in 2011, the brainchild of astrophysicist Garik Israelian. His aim was to make the most universal science and art accessible to the public and that he achieved with three festivals that reached full capacity with participation from the world’s most influential scientists and astronomists along with superstar musicians. The magic of Starmus is not confined to science – music is also an essential component of the festival. One of the most prominent members of the Advisory Board, the great Peter Gabriel, former leader of UK band Genesis, highlights the close ties between astronomy and music: “Musicians explore and define what exists inside us, astronomers explore and define what exists outside of us. That’s precisely what I love about Starmus: the combination of the two worlds”.

With an unbeatable panel of great minds, the countdown shall begin to the next Starmus, in June 2017, amid considerable international expectation. Over the coming months, the organisation will unveil new features and surprises in connection with the world’s most ambitious science event, which will in turn raise Trondheim’s status as a city of culture, science and technology.

About Trondheim:

Trondheim is a renowned location for students and academics. It has been ranked several times as Norway’s most impressive student city and has long standing traditions in education with a Cathedral School that has been in existence since 1152. The roots of today’s university go all the way back to 1760, with the establishment of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS). The city has a population of more than 188,000, with 33,000 students attending and nearly 7000 employees working at the university, NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The University contributes an incredibly high level of science, education and innovation. The university and its spin-offs is one of the main reasons why the city is referred to as the science and technology capital of Norway.

Trondheim also has a vibrant cultural life. The city hosts festivals in genres including jazz, blues, chamber music, world music, rock and pop all year round with a peak during the summer when the light almost never leaves. During the Starmus festival in Trondheim in June 2017, the sun will go down at midnight and rises at 3am. Situated just above 63 degrees north, the coastal city which was founded more than a thousand years ago (997), with its strong academic traditions combined with a cultureloving population is the perfect location for a festival such as Starmus, which brings out the best of both worlds.

About confirmed speakers:

Stephen Hawking – an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. His scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. A keynote speaker at the previous two festivals, at Starmus IV Hawking will share his wisdom with what hopefully will be his largest ever audience.

May-Britt Moser – a Norwegian Professor of Neuroscience, Founding Director of the Center for Neural Computation and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. May is interested in how spatial location and spatial memory are computed in the brain. Her work includes the discovery of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex which provides clues to a neural mechanism for the metric of spatial mapping. May-Britt was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 together with long term collaborator Edvard Moser and John O’Keefe for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

Edvard Moser – a Norwegian Professor of Neuroscience, Founding Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Co-Director of the Center for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Edvard is interested in how spatial location and spatial memory are computed in the brain. His work includes the discovery of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex which provides clues to a neural mechanism for the metric of spatial mapping. Edvard was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 together with long-term collaborator May-Britt Moser and John O’Keefe for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

Alexei Leonov – a retired Soviet/Russian cosmonaut and Air Force Major general. On 18 March 1965, he became the first human to conduct extravehicular activity (EVA), exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk. As of March 2016, Leonov is the last survivor of the five cosmonauts in the Voskhod programme.

Charlie Duke – an American engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer, test pilot, and a 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 is an astronomer who served as the Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) from 1993 to 1998, and the President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) from 2009 to 2012. As the Director of STScI, he decided to devote a substantial fraction of his Director’s Discretionary time on Hubble Space Telescope during 1995 to the study of distant galaxies. This resulted in the Hubble Deep Field, a landmark image in the study of the early universe. For his leadership on this project, he was awarded the 1998 Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize, the 1999 NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the 2016 Karl Schwarzschild Medal.

Alan Stern – an American engineer and planetary scientist. He is 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. One of his projects was the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an instrument which flew on two space shuttle missions, STS-85 in 1997 and STS-93 in 1999. Stern has also developed eight scientific instruments for planetary and near-space research missions and has been a guest observer on numerous NASA satellite observatories, including the International Ultraviolet Explorer, the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Infrared Observer and the Extreme Ultraviolet Observer.

Harrison Schmitt – an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor and former U.S. senator from New Mexico.In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA’s first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space. As Apollo 17 was the last of the Apollo missions, he also became the twelfth person to set foot on the Moon, and as of 2016, the second-to-last person to step off of the Moon.

Brian Eno – an English 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. A selfdescribed “non-musician,” Eno has advocated a methodology of “theory over practice” throughout his career, and has helped to introduce a variety of unique recording techniques and conceptual approaches into contemporary music. He has been described as one of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures.

George Smoot – an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, Nobel laureate, and one of two contestants to win the US$1 million prize on Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer with John C. Mather that led to the “discovery of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation”. This work helped further the Big Bang theory of the universe using the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite.

Adam Riess – an American astrophysicist and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute and is known for his research in using 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 – is an American astronomer and the former director of the Center for SETI Research, holding the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute. Tarter has worked on a number of major scientific projects, most relating to the search for extraterrestrial life. As a graduate student, she worked on the radio-search project SERENDIP, and created the corresponding backronym, “Search for Extraterrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations”.

Michel Mayor – a Swiss astrophysicist and professor emeritus at the University of Geneva’s Department of Astronomy. He formally retired in 2007, but remains active as researcher at the Observatory of Geneva. He is co-winner of the 2010 Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize, and the winner of the 2015 Kyoto Prize. Together with Didier Queloz in 1995 he discovered 51 Pegasi b, the first extrasolar planet orbiting a sun-like star, 51 Pegasi.

Robert Wilson – an American astronomer, 1978 Nobel laureate in physics, who with Arno Allan Penzias discovered in 1964 the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). The award purse was also shared with a third scientist, Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, for unrelated work.

Walt Cunnigham – a 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 – a 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.

More names to be announced shortly.

This will be the fourth Starmus Festival since its 2011 debut.
04/10/2016 by Caroline Frost

There’s some exciting news for astronomy fans who haven’t been able to get to the Canary Islands for Brian May and co’s Starmus Festivals.

Brian and his fellow leading lights in the world of astronomy will be bringing the Festival to mainland Europe for 2017, with next year’s event to take place in Norway’s scientific capital of Trondheim.

Names already confirmed to be joining Brian in the Land of the Midnight Sun include Stephen Hawking and a host of Nobel Prize winners, scientists and musicians including Brian Eno.

Brian May and Stephen Hawking

The new venue will see audiences expand from its customary 1,000 festival-goers to around 10,000, including a presentation by Stephen Hawking to his largest-ever audience.

This will be the fourth outing for Starmus, which brings together top brains and creative talents from the world of astronomy, science, academia and music. The Festival’s 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.

Tickets will go on sale from 14 October at