ArmInfo.Astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (Spain), creative director and spiritual father of the STARMUS festival Garik Israelian hopes that holding the STARMUS VI science and art festival in Armenia will be a good opportunity for Armenian youth to get out of the post-war depression and the toxic environment that has been created inside countries today.
Thus, on June 16, during a press conference in Yerevan, presenting the agenda of the upcoming festival in Armenia on September 5-10, Israelian noted that, in general, the festivals held by them were active and aroused wide public interest.
"Coming to Armenia for STARMUS is an experiment. We were interested to see how society and the media will react to this festival. The quality of our festival and interest in it are increasing year by year. We have already received a number of invitations to host the festival, including from the USA," the astrophysicist said. Speaking about the upcoming festival, he noted that the agenda is quite substantial, and the cost of tickets for events is symbolic. "Unlike Europe, where the cost of tickets for the festival was 700 euros, it was decided to set the minimum possible, symbolic price for the Armenian festival - 25,000 drams for participants and 20,000 drams for students, moreover, for participation in four days of lectures," the co- founder of the STARMUS festival said. adding that the scale of the festival is unique in that it popularizes science, brings science closer to young people, summing it up with art and music, inspiring new research and discoveries.
He informed that the "Discover the space and change the world" conference, which will be held on the territory of the Sports and Concert Complex, will be attended by about 7,000 participants. According to the scientist, all events will be held from 3:00pm local time and leading scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, will give 20-minute lectures in various fields.
"Then there will be the ceremony of presenting the Stephen Hawking Medal, which is recognized worldwide as the "Oscar" for the popularization of science. In addition, there will be a panel discussion, "108 minutes of a round table", with the participation of Nobel laureates. We do not yet know who will participate in this discussion.
In addition, Star Party is expected - a special event with the participation of world-famous guests and local representatives, which will be held in Garni. A large number of telescopes brought to Armenia within the framework of the festival will be placed here, and the participants of the event will have the opportunity to watch the stars all night long," Israelian said.
According to him, the "Science Camp" project will also work for a week, which will allow everyone to get acquainted with the innovations of the scientific world.
"The area adjacent to the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater will be transformed into a large- scale scientific and technical center, where the latest scientific achievements will be presented in large thematic pavilions: astrophysics, laser physics, drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, agricultural technology, nuclear energy, etc. About 100 thousand visitors are expected from Yerevan as well as from the regions of Armenia and Artsakh," he said.
According to him, there will also be a two-day "Space Technologies" conference, which will be held within the framework of the festival in the Sports and Concert Complex,and will be attended by about 20 speakers from around the world, including the Satlantis space technology company. He noted that there will be programs with the participation of Armenian universities.
In general, according to the astrophysicist, 90% of the STARMUS festival attracts the attention of non- academics. "60% of those who are interested in our festivals are doctors and lawyers," Israelian stated.
Speaking about the goals of the festival, he expressed the hope that STARMUS will attract the attention of young people. "Today, Armenian youth lives in a toxic environment. Almost the entire media space is filled with toxic information that poisons life, only negative. And we hope that our festival will become a kind of light in this space, because the future of Armenia is in science, education and culture," said the eminent astrophysicist.
Israelian also informed that they plan to purchase a telescope for Armenian schools with the proceeds received.
In Armenia, the "STARMUS VI: 50 Years on Mars" program provides for other equally interesting events both in Yerevan and in the regions of Armenia in cooperation with a number of Armenian institutions and organizations: the Children of Armenia Foundation (COAF), the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), Ayb Educational Foundation, Teach for Armenia, A. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory, Scientific Research Institute.
Armenia will host world famous astronauts Charles Bolden, Chris Hadfield, James Bagian, George Nield , Charles Duke, Nobel Prize winner Edvard Moser, Kip Thorne, Emmanuelle Charpentier; scientists: Tony Fadell, Brian Greene, Donna Strickland ; artists: Sons of Apollo an American progressive metal supergroup, Rick Wakeman, Serj Tankian, Tigran Hamasyan, Andrey Makarevich, Derek Sherinyan and a number of other world famous artists and scientists.