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The world’s greatest science party

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The world’s greatest science party

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We’re now on the cusp of the seventh Starmus Festival, an amazing and unique celebration of science and music. I hope to see many of you there, in Bratislava, Slovakia, May 12–17.

Starmus, which combines the words stars and music, is the creation of Director Garik Israelian, an astronomer in the Canary Islands who is an expert on black holes, exoplanets, and many other subjects. He created the Festival, which first appeared in 2011, in conjunction with his friend Brian May, an astrophysicist who also happens to have a pretty good day job as founder and guitarist of the rock band Queen.

This year’s theme is our own planet Earth and how we will take care of it. I’ll be proud to once again be a speaker at Starmus, will serve as an on-stage host, and will participate in activities as a member of the Starmus Board along with Garik, Brian, Richard Dawkins, Jane Goodall, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Peter Gabriel, Jill Tarter, and Tony Fadell.

Starmus offers a unique blend of amazing speakers, concerts, a star party, and an astrophoto school, and will kick off with an incredible concert in the city of Bratislava, which is a short hop from Vienna, Austria. Our good friend Jean-Michel Jarre, the electronic musician famous for staging the world’s largest concert, will grace us with an amazing show, in conjunction with Brian May. That will kick things off, and then we will commence an incredible lineup of speakers. The lineup will be rife with astronaut-explorers and Nobel Prize laureates.

Presenters will include anthropologist Jane Goodall, astrophysicist Martin Rees, physicist Kip Thorne, musician Laurie Anderson, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, iPod inventor Tony Fadell, physicist Brian Greene, astrophysicist Michel Mayor, astronaut Chris Hadfield, astrophysicist Scott Hubbard, astrophysicist George Smoot, astronaut Garrett Reisman, computer scientist Bernhard Schölkopf, astrophysicist Carole Mundell, climate scientist Chris Rapley, astrophysicist Joel Parker, planetary scientist Patrick Michel, and planetary scientist Dante Lauretta.

Among the musical stars will be — in addition to Jean-Michel and Brian — Robin Ince, The Offspring, Tony Hadley, Laurie Anderson, Derek Sherinian, Lia Holloran, Simon Phillips, Nemra, Brian Malow, and Paul Franklin.

Our sponsors this year are ESET, a global security company, along with Vub Banka, Omega watches, and Kia.

My pals Michael Bakich, Martin Ratcliffe, and Damian Peach are going to put on an astroimaging school before the main Starmus. And we will hold a star party for Starmus folks at Devín Castle, which was constructed in the 9th Century. It is a spectacular site for a star party!

I strongly encourage you to attend if you can. There really are moments at Starmus where you think to yourself, “Is this really happening???” If you do not make it this time, getting to Starmus will assuredly be in your future plans. I will provide complete reporting on the Festival as Astronomy Magazine is also a sponsoring partner.

You can find out complete information on Starmus at starmus.com, register, and get ready to attend an event that will change your life.

David J. Eicher is Editor of Astronomy Magazine, author of 26 books on science and history, and a member of the board of the Starmus Festival and of Lowell Observatory.

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