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Stephen Hawking foreleser under vitenskapsfestivalen Starmus i Trondheim. Han skal også dele ut medaljer i sitt navn til forskningsformidlere.  Foto: Starmus
Stephen Hawking foreleser under vitenskapsfestivalen Starmus i Trondheim. Han skal også dele ut medaljer i sitt navn til forskningsformidlere. Foto: Starmus

Lifestyle

Visit the year’s big festival of science in Trondheim

What happened before The Big Bang? And what does the future hold for the investigation of Mars? These are some of the topics astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner George Smoot and astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be talking about during the Starmus Festival in Trondheim, which runs from June 19 - 23.

Astronaut Charlie Duke is speaking at Starmus festival,  which is open for everyone. Photo: Starmus

You will, of course, also be able to find out more about other subjects related to science and research. A total of 6 Nobel Prize winners from the fields of physics, chemistry and medicine will be in Trondheim during the festival. What’s more, Stephen Hawking will be making his first visit to Norway, talking about his research and the evidence for black holes.

‘Starmus is an important and unique cross-disciplinary festival organized by people working in disparate fields - astronomers, astronauts, physicists, philosphers, musicians, artists and biologists - all of whom share an interest in the universe, how it was created, how we can investigate it and use the knowledge we acquire,’ he says in a press release. 

Trondheim, science capital of Norway

The goal is to spread knowledge and inspire the next generation to become interested in science. The festival was the brainchild of astrophysicist Garik Israelian, and was staged for the first time on the Canary Islands in 2011. It has now relocated to Trondheim.

‘After three successful years on the Canary Islands, it’s an honor to have been invited to come to Trondheim, the science capital of Norway,’ says Israelian.
NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), which is set to play host to the event, is enthusiastic.

‘We’re delighted to have been given the chance to host Starmus. It’s an important recognition of our ambition to be at the international vanguard and a wonderful opportunity to show off our top-class 

According to Arvid Hallén of the Research Council of Norway, the fact that Starmus has come to Trondheim shows that Norway is a country with high ambitions when it comes to research and innovation. However, the festival is important globally.

‘The Starmus Festival will help draw attention to research and its significance in making the world a better place.’
Our “own” Nobel Prize winners and neuroscientists and May-Britt Moser Edvard Moser, will also be on hand. Edvard Moser will give a talk about his own research, namely the self-positioning system of the brain. This system helps us to find out things. 

‘I got a little bit starstruck when I took part in last year’s Starmus Festival. It engages and awakens the thirst for knowledge in us all, particularly amongst children and young people. The festival will put Norway and Tronheim on the world map as a place in development where science and innovation is thriving,’ he says.

If that wasn’t enough, you will also be able to experience one of the foremost research communicators in the world, Neil deGrasse Tyson, acting as moderator for a panel discussion with astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmitt, both of whom have walked on the moon. It will literally be a star-studded debate. 

Trondheim and NTNU are the hosts of the  Starmus festival.

Music and culture

If you’re more interested in economics, politics and culture, you will also find many reasons to travel to Trondheim for these summer days. During Starmus, journalist Larry King will talk about fake news, economist Jeffrey Sachs will give a lecture on climate change, and director Oliver Stone will talk about the notion of truth in film. The festival will also be put to music because Starmus’ Board of Directors, in addition to prominent researchers such as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins, also includes musician Peter Gabriel.

‘Musicians research and define what is inside us. Astronomers research and define what is outside us. It’s accurate to say that I love being part of the Starmus Festival: it’s the combination of the two worlds,’ says Gabriel.

Steve Vai, Devin Townsend and Ane Brun are just a few of the artists who will be contibuting with decibels, guitar riffs and rhythm.

People in the city will also realize that researchers and astronauts have landed in Trondheim. From June 19 until June 22, Trondheim city center will be host to Starmus Open Space. Astronauts and physicists will talk to children and their families about what they do for a living. If you have ambitions of becoming an astronaut, you can test your abilities in an orbitron. There will be musical perfomances on the main square. There will be between 10 and 15 performances on the Main Square Stage in Trondheim every day.
 

Read more:
www.ntnu.no/starmus2017
www.ntnu.no/starmus2017/event_tags/starmus-open-space 

Text: Inga Ragnhild Holst

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