- From climate change to the environmental crisis, AI ethics and genetic engineering, Starmus VII, in partnership with ESET, will sharpen its focus on the future of our home planet
- Bratislava, Slovakia, will host the seventh edition of Starmus in May 2024, raising awareness of Earth’s most urgent questions and science’s role in answering them
- Starmus begins its countdown to Bratislava with parallel launch events in the host city and at the Royal Society in London, with a panel discussion featuring some of science’s greatest minds, including Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, who also joins the Starmus Advisory Board
DUBAI — Starmus, the global festival of science communication – and the brainchild of astrophysicist Garik Israelian, PhD, and Queen guitarist Sir Brian May, who also has a PhD in astrophysics – has announced it will turn its gaze from the stars to the future of planet Earth taking its seventh edition to Bratislava in 2024.
Today, Sir Brian May and Dr. Garik Israelian announced the festival’s theme, ‘Starmus Earth: the future of our home planet,’ at a panel event at London’s Royal Society. They were joined by world-renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, (who now joins the Starmus Advisory Board), cosmologist.
Sir Martin Rees and Global Governance Professor Mary Kaldor, who led a unique discussion, moderated by Dr. Israelian, on how to solve some of our planet’s most pressing challenges.
Microbiologist and Nobel Laureate Emmanuelle Charpentier joined the panel remotely from a parallel launch event on the river Danube in Bratislava, alongside iPod inventor Tony Fadell and Richard Marko, a cybersecurity expert and CEO of ESET, the festival’s lead partner.
“Starmus has traditionally focused on interrogating the mysteries of the universe, looking upwards to inspire and educate the next generation of explorers and regenerate the spirit of discovery, bringing art, music, and the world’s greatest scientific and artistic minds together to enhance science communication,” said Starmus co-founder Dr. Garik Israelian. “As the old saying goes, ‘Earth is a planet too!’ We are a privileged part of the cosmos, and as living beings, we are made of star stuff. The very atoms in our bodies were forged in the earliest days of the universe or in the deaths of low-mass and high-mass stars. Earth is in the universe, and just as much a part of it as the stars”.
“Climate change could eventually make life on Earth untenable, and we are seeing signs of that rapid evolution now. We must take steps to take care of our world, and Starmus offers an important voice that draws attention to the urgency,” said Dr. Jane Goodall.
In 2024, Starmus will turn its gaze closer to home and analyze how we can tackle the challenges that most threaten Earth’s future, from the threats facing our environment and climate to far-reaching technologies like artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and cybersecurity – as well as the humanitarian crises caused by armed conflict around the world.
“Since 2011, STARMUS conferences have assembled 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. By bringing together many of the greatest and most free-thinking brains from all countries, we will try to find new answers to the questions we must now ask, to save the life of Planet Earth.” said Sir Brian May, legendary Queen guitarist and Starmus co-founder and Advisory Board member.
This year, Starmus is partnering with ESET – a global cybersecurity company headquartered in Bratislava – to inspire young people in Slovakia and around the world to take responsibility and contribute to the future of our planet, using scientific research and state-of-the-art technology.
“ESET’s role is to deliver state-of-the-art technology and innovation that protects societal progress.
We believe this progress is brought about by science,” said Richard Marko, CEO of ESET. “We are proud to partner with Starmus to join its efforts in inspiring new generations of scientists and those who appreciate its values.”
Starmus Earth will welcome world-class scientists, artists, and environmentalists to share breakthrough discoveries, debate the big questions and inspire new generations of scientists, technologists, and activists. The Starmus Advisory Board will announce the full line-up of scientists, artists, and musicians later this year, but some of the 40+ confirmed speakers at Starmus Earth include astronaut and Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, physicist Donna Strickland, and the legendary American science television presenter Bill Nye.
The festival, as in previous editions, will also award the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication across four categories: Music & Arts, Science Writing, Films & Entertainment, and Lifetime Achievement.
In addition to launching its seventh edition, Starmus also released previously unseen live music performances from past iterations of the festival: “Who Wants to Live Forever?” from Starmus V, performed by Sir Brian May, Hans Zimmer, Vittorio Grigolo, Steve Vai and Rick Wakeman with the Luzern Symphony Orchestra; and “Smoke on the Water” from Starmus VI, featuring Sir Brian May, Jeff Scott Soto, Derek Sherinian, Simon Phillips, Ric Fierabracci and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.
Next year’s festival will be the first Starmus since September 2022, when it was held in Yerevan, Armenia, and celebrated 50 years of mankind’s exploration of Mars. Previous incarnations of Starmus have seen the festival travel to Zurich, Switzerland; Trondheim, Norway; and Spain’s Canary Islands.
Tickets for Starmus Earth, held in Bratislava from 12-17 May 2024, will go on sale in October.
For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multifactor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company that enables the safe use of technology. This is backed by ESET’s R&D centers worldwide, working in support of our shared future.
Since the very first homo sapiens looked up at a star-filled sky, we have been awestruck by the vastness of the cosmos. Even today, we remain humbled by the sheer immensity of space, especially as progress in physics and astronomy has made us aware of the tremendous distances involved – even to our closest neighboring stars.
Created by Garik Israelian PhD, astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) and Sir Brian May PhD, astrophysicist and the lead guitarist of the iconic rock band Queen, Starmus is a festival of science, art and music that has featured presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and prominent figures from various scientific disciplines and musical backgrounds.
Stephen Hawking and Alexei Leonov, together with Brian May, worked to create the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication in 2015, awarded to individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to science communication. Previous Stephen Hawking Medal winners include Dr. Jane Goodall, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Eno, Hans Zimmer, and the Apollo 11 documentary.
Starmus brings Nobel laureates, eminent researchers, astronauts, thinkers and artists together to share their knowledge and experiences, as we search for answers to the great questions.