The Swiss watchmaker OMEGA has presented three unique Speedmaster watches to the winners of this year’s Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication at the 2017 Starmus Festival in Trondheim, Norway.
Jean-Michel Jarre, Neil deGrasse Tyson and the hit television series The Big Bang Theory, each received a specially-created OMEGA Speedmaster along with the festival’s major accolade.
The Starmus Festival, a combination of science, art and music, helps the general public understand and appreciate science. Since 2011, it has included performances and presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music.
In line with its new partnership of the Starmus Festival, OMEGA contributed specially-engraved timepieces to be awarded along with the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication, which recognises those who promote science through three different disciplines: science writing, films, music and art.
This year, the festival paid tribute to a pioneer musician Jean-Michel Jarre; astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the creators and cast of the hit television comedy series, The Big Bang Theory.
All three winners were presented with a brand new 18K yellow gold OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph.
Both Jean-Michel Jarre and Neil deGrasse Tyson were on hand to receive their medal and watch personally.
Accepting his award, musician Jean-Michel Jarre said: “It is indeed a truly great honor to have been chosen by Professor Hawking and the Starmus board to win this year’s Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication, for my music. Since I composed Oxygene 40 years ago as a manifesto for climate change and as an alert for the awareness of the future of our planet, my music has been very much inspired by, and linked to, space, time and science. I am proud, yet humbled, to receive this medal in recognition of my work”.
Equally thrilled to receive the festival’s accolade, Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke of his debt to Stephen Hawking, saying: “With this award, we are all reminded that Prof. Stephen Hawking himself has given much of his professional life to writing books, delivering lectures, and appearing on TV shows for the public. His legacy as a populariser of science is what brings great honor to me”.
The Big Bang Theory’s executive producers Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro were unable to attend the event, but delivered their acceptance speech via a video message.
“We are thrilled to accept this award on behalf of the show. Never in 14 billion years did we think The Big Bang Theory would become what it has and we are eternally grateful to Professor Hawking, the science community, and everyone who has embraced it as their own. For those we have inspired to pursue the sciences, we are deeply honored. To Stephen and everyone at Starmus – Thank you”.
The three winners of the Stephen Hawking medal each received an OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph. The 42 mm case and bezel are made from 18K yellow gold and the black dial also includes 18K yellow gold hands and indexes. The watch is distinguished by its unique caseback which includes the words “WINNER OF THE STEPHEN HAWKING MEDAL FOR SCIENCE COMMUNICATION”, as well as a laser-engraved medallion that follows the exact design of the medal itself. This includes the Starmus logo and images of Alexei Leonov during the first human spacewalk and the “Red Special” guitar of Queen’s Brian May. The watch is presented on a black leather strap and is driven by the famous OMEGA calibre 1861, virtually the same hand-wound movement that powered the timepieces NASA’s astronauts wore on the Moon.