STARMUS EARTH !!!  – opening address


Starmus Earch Clock

Announcement and Press Conference at the Royal Society, London.  

11th May 2023

Bri’s opening address ….

(This is what I planned to say ! It may have come out slightly differently ! )

We are here to announce the seventh STARMUS festival which will take place from the 12th to the 17th May 2024 in Bratislava, Slovakia !!!

The reason for the existence of STARMUS is its core belief that the boundary between Artistic thinking and Scientific thinking is false.  We believe that Art and Science are a continuum, and the thought processes of each, when combined with an open mind, can provide the most powerful insights into questions that resist solutions.   It was around 15 years ago that Garik and I had a conversation about how we might foster closer interaction between the scientific community and musicians, and artists in general.  We were, and are, very much immersed in both disciplines, and felt that this empowered our thinking.  So we had the crazy idea to simply create an environment in which creative people from all disciplines could meet and interact, and contemplate the Cosmos !!

S0, since 2003,  as a result of this crazy idea, STARMUS conferences have brought together scientists and artists to look outwards at the Space around us with clear eyes, to celebrate the wonders of the Universe.  This year, more than ever aware of the current threat of the extinction of life in the Biosphere, for the first time, STARMUS focuses inward on our home planet, and, by bringing together many of the greatest and most free-thinking brains from all countries, will try to find new solutions to the questions we must now ask, to save the life of Planet Earth. 

We are all now aware that the BIOSPHERE of planet Earth is under an immediate threat of extinction. 

We have seen conferences between political representatives of countries looking for solutions, but inevitably, whether or not they come up with strategies, they are influenced by political motives and the selfish interests of the countries they represent. 

STARMUS EARTH will be, to our knowledge, the first attempt to bring together scientists and artists of all countries, to try to find answers, in a completely unbiased way, to the questions about the planet’s future that we all know we need to ask.   We are hoping that by inviting some of the world’s most free-thinking and brilliant brains to offer their individual insights, we will have a good chance of coming up, by the end of the conference, with a set of strategies which could save the living entities which inhabit Planet Earth. 

All the lecturers will be invited to speak on topics which related to questions such as “Are the current gloomy predictions for the results of our present behaviour true or not ?”   And … “Is the Cosmic Clock running into the last seconds of the existence of life on Earth ?”  And, if so, is it already too late to make the necessary changes in our behaviours to avoid such a fate ? Or are there effective strategies which can be implemented to reverse the trend ?   What are the attributes of life on Earth that are most worthy of saving ?  Should we be fighting the trends, or accepting that we are in the middle of an inevitable evolutionary stage in the life of any planet ?

We hope to clearly identify the greatest threats to life on Earth.  There is now, at last, a growing consensus that Global Warming is a present danger.  But in reality this is only the tip of the iceberg.  We face so many potential threats, mostly man-made.  Perhaps the end of our civilisation will be bought about by the Nuclear Bomb, or Hunger, or pollution, loss of habitat, Artificial Intelligence, or pandemic, or human overpopulation, or perhaps Asteroid Strike or a cataclysmic eruption of the Earth’s magma, or perhaps by other more subtle threats that have been hidden from our understanding until now.  By identifying the most likely destructive scenarios, perhaps we will conclude that we need to reorganise our priorities for mounting defences against them.  Perhaps, for instance, a non-political consortium could find ways make policies on a global basis, rather than addressing the needs of individual countries.   No politicians will be invited to speak at Starmus Earth !

As well as disaster-proofing, in Bratislava we can look in a positive way at how we can best enable Life on Earth to flourish, and prove that, as a species, we are worthy to embark on the colonisation of the neighbourhood in Space. 

Sir Brian May.     

So happy to welcome the brilliant Jane Goodall to our board.