06, 2019

President Armen Sarkissian to organize the STARMUS 6th Festival of Science and Art in Armenia: Armenians appreciate science and education

President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Switzerland on a working visit, on June 24 in Zurich participated at the opening ceremony of the STARMUS science and art international festival. The festival, which unites scientists, astronauts, musicians, and Nobel Prize Laureates, strives to inspire and educate a new generation of researchers.

The STARMUS 5th festival this year is attended by 7 astronauts - participants of the Apollo space shuttle program, 12 Nobel Prize Laureates and famous representatives of the arts who discuss in particular issues related to microbiology and biochemistry, astrology, and neuroscience.

The festival was opened by the author of the idea and main organizer, the Armenian astrophysicist Garik Israelian who is working at the Astrophysics Institute on the Canary Islands.

The EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas made a statement.

The President of Armenia in his welcoming remarks assessed the festival as a fantastic event which unites scientists and artists. “People think that this is no place for us, politicians. But I am here for a couple of reasons. I will name the first one a “dream”, because Garik is a dreamer. He is dreaming of wild things and they become true,” President Sarkissian said.

Speaking about another component of the STARMUS – art, particularly about the impact of music, he noted that the Berlin wall and other walls were way too low to stop music. “I believe that music had enormous influence on the world, in changing Soviet Union, in making many nations, including my own nation, free and independent.”

He named «STARMUS and Armenia» as the most important reason for attending the festival. “I invite the next, sixth STARMUS to come to Armenia. We will be happy to see you all – scientists, Noble Laureates, astronauts, musicians, artists, and political figures- in Armenia,” President Armen Sarkissian underscored and noted that Armenia is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. “I will be happy to show you special educational sites because your topics – technologies, music, education, bring science closer to the people.” The President spoke also about Yerevan, which is more than 2800 years old, as well as about the Metsamor – the observatory from the Urartu period and noted in particular, “Armenian were looking into the sky 4500 years ago and registered the data on the stones. I would also like to show you the famous Byurakan observatory. Armenians appreciate science and education.”

Armen Sarkissian presented new presidential initiatives. One of them is called ATOM (Advanced tomorrow) and will have several components. It is planned that the initiative will include also a science and technology city where major international organizations will be represented, as well as research centers and universities, along with the Museum of the Future which will be not about the science and technologies of the past but of the future. Another “Big Explosion” initiative is a new presidential award.

President Sarkissian noted that it would be awarded annually for the achievements in the areas of innovation, science, technologies, and education which would have the effect of an explosion for the 21st century. President Armen Sarkissian invited the founders and members of the STARMUS – renowned musicians, scientists, and astrophysicists to become members the Board to select the winners of the next year award.

In the framework of the festival in Zurich, during the special ceremony the names of the Stephen Hawking medal winner for year 2019 were announced. The medal named after the world-famous British theoretical physicist is awarded to those who contributed to the science, made scientific achievements and disseminated science through arts.

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