Astronomers and musicians united during a festival in Slovakia

On May 17, one of the main events in the field of science and culture, the Starmus 2024 festival, ended in Slovakia. It brought together outstanding artists and scientists from all over the world. This year’s theme was our blue planet.

The stage of the Starmus festival. Source:

Starmus Festival 2024

From May 12 to 17, Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, hosted one of the most significant events connecting science and art — the Starmus 2024 festival. During the week, its participants had the opportunity to listen to the best popular science lectures and concerts by outstanding musicians. 

The festival was opened by an incredible performance by electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre and Brian May, who is not only a former Queen guitarist, but also an astrophysicist. All this was accompanied by incredible visual effects. 

However, this was only the beginning. Starmus is an ambitious project designed to combine leading science and culture. This year its main theme is our blue planet. Therefore, the main characters of the action were planetary scientists and ecologists.

The first lecture of the festival was given by the famous anthropologist Jane Goodall. She spoke about life on our blue planet and spoke about the importance of hope for its preservation.  Famous scientists, researchers and former astronauts followed her onto the stage. Each of them spoke about his vision of the future of the Earth.

Not only Earth

However, our planet wasn’t the only one in the spotlight during Starmus. The organizers emphasize that It is only a tiny part of the boundless cosmos. Therefore, many speeches in the following days were devoted to astronomy.

The stars who performed from the stage included Nobel laureates Michel Mayor, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Kip Thorne, astronauts Charlie Duke, Chris Hadfield, Kathryn Thornton, Garrett Reisman and others.

Festival participants could also look through a telescope from one of the observatories and listen to stories about the moon, planets, nebulae and galaxies. In the second week of the festival, the focus shifted from the current state of science to how technology forms our future.

Chris Hadfield, a former astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency, gave an instructive presentation about space debris and our efforts to solve the problem of debris. After that, Garrett Wiseman from NASA spoke about SpaceX and the successes it had achieved in organizing human flights to the Moon and Mars.

Astrophysicist Martin Rees held a different point of view than Wiseman. He presented his report “Post-human Intelligence — A Cosmic Perspective” via a video link. The scientist stressed the importance of leaving human spaceflight to private astronauts looking for adrenaline, and using government organizations such as NASA and ESA to focus exclusively on robots. 

At the end, the Starmus participants traveled through time with physicist Brian Green, who used breathtaking graphics and visual images to transport them through space into the distant future in his report entitled “Until the End of Time”. 

According to