New Science Communication Award Bears Hawking’s Name

Last month the Starmus Festival, an International Science and Arts Festival in the Canary Islands, announced it would establish the Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication.  (H/T  Hawking will award the first medals at the 2016 Festival, scheduled for June 27 through July 2.  The 2016 Starmus Festival has announced honoring Hawking for his work would be the theme of its third festival.

There will be three medals awarded at each Starmus Festival to “recognize the work of those helping to promote the public awareness of science through different disciplines.”  Awards will recognize achievement in the scientific community, the artistic community, and the film community.  Details are a bit scarce about how the awards will be judged, though the Festival founder, Professor Garik Israelian of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canaries, indicated there would be some public participation in the selection of the film community award.

Arguably this festival comes from a place of some expertise in deciding these matters.  It has combined science (usually astrophysics) and music in each of its editions, and counts musician/scientists Brian May (guitarist with Queen) and Brian Cox (live keyboardist for D:Ream) among its supporters.  Further demonstrating an interest in collaborations of art and science, cosmonaut Alexei Leonov created the portrait of Hawking that covers one side of the medal.



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