2023 / 11 / 04
The director of the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias (IAC) and representative of the Starlight Foundation, Rafael Rebolo, and the director of the 'Starmus Festival', Garik Israelian, have announced this Friday that the event will be organised again in 2024 on the island of La Palma. They have been working "hand in hand" to gather the necessary institutional support to recover the prestigious festival for the islands.
"We are working to make this a reality and the way we have found is to relate it to the protection of the sky as an asset of humanity, so we will go hand in hand with the Starlight Foundation. We are in time to make society aware of the pollution of our sky, especially with the launching of small satellites and we believe that Starmus is the right way to do this," said Israelian.
In this line, he pointed out that the new edition of the festival in La Palma "has to be a revolution for the island", a project where space will again be at the centre of the theme.
In this sense, he clarified that the organisation will start working on the La Palma edition once the funds are signed by the institutions involved.
The announcement was made at the world presentation of the documentary recorded during the last edition of 'Starmus' in Armenia, whose premiere was held last night at the Yelmo cinemas of the Meridiano shopping centre in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Under the title '50 years on Mars', this audio-visual production summarises the sixth edition held in Yerevan (Armenia) in 2022, which had the Red Planet as its protagonist.
"This documentary has been an experiment for us, now the idea is to recover the material recorded on the islands and make a Canary Islands documentary. Additionally, the experience in Armenia serves us in bringing that festival model to La Palma. We want to involve all Palmeros," he said.
The director and astrophysicist emphasised that throughout these years the festival has been able to count on the support of institutions, such as the Starlight Foundation, artists and the scientific community with the sole objective of disseminating scientific content, making it closer to society.
The documentary is directed by Todd Douglas Miller, director of films such as Apollo XI (winner of two Emmys); the astrophysicist and co-director of the festival, Garik Israelian, and the well-known founder of Queen and astrophysicist Brian May.
Nearly two hours of audiovisual material were used by the directors to capture the social, scientific, and cultural impact of this event for the city of Yerevan.
The director of the Starlight Foundation, Antonia Varela, attended the presentation of this documentary, after which she was able to greet and meet with representatives of the Starmus Festival to discuss aspects related to the cooperation agreement that both entities are signing for the organisation of this important event on the island of La Palma. In the words of Antonia Varela:
The director of the Starlight Foundation, Antonia Varela, attended the presentation of this documentary, after which she was able to greet and meet with representatives of the Starmus Festival to discuss aspects related to the cooperation agreement that both entities are signing for the organization of this important event on the island of La Palma. In the words of Antonia Varela: "One of the main reasons to celebrate in La Palma during this Festival, considered the most important in the world for scientific communication and popularisation, is not only to bring young people of the Canary Islands and society as a whole closer to the world of science and to awaken future scientific vocations, but also to highlight the importance of preserving the sky as a necessary resource for the conservation of the planet. This event also puts La Palma back in the focus of world attention, promoting economic and social return for the island".
The last edition featured 100 papers on different topics, seven of them by Nobel laureates Kip Thorne, Michele Mayor, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Edvard Moser, Donna Strikland, John Mather, and Kurt Wuthich.
Other world-class speakers included astronauts Charlie Duke and Chris Hadfield, iPad/iPhone inventor Tony Fadell, former NASA administrator Charlie Bolden, among others.
The presentations were followed by over 7,000 people, according to a note from the organisers.
In addition to this scientific proposal, more than 50 musical performances were given by Brian May (guitarist of the rock band Queen and co-founder of Starmus), Serj Tankian (vocalist and founder of System of a Down), Rick Wakeman (keyboardist of Yes), Graham Gouldman (member of 10cc), the famous progressive rock band Sons of Apollo, and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (formerly of Guns and Roses).