Elon Musk To Receive 2019 Stephen Hawking Medal

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk participates in a "fireside chat" at the NLC 2018 City Summit in Los Angeles
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk participates in a "fireside chat" at the National League of Cities (NLC) 2018 City Summit in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 8, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Kyle Grillot)

Multi-billionaire and scientific trailblazer Elon Musk will be conferred the prestigious "2019 Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication," on June 24 in Zurich, Switzerland along with other outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to advancing science.

Musk will receive the Stephen Hawking medal for the scientific community for his "astounding accomplishments in space travel and for humanity," according to Starmus International Festival, which created the award in 2011.  

Starmus founding member and Ph.D. astrophysicist Brian May (founding guitarist of the rock band, Queen) will personally present the medal to Musk. Starmus stands for "star" and "music" in honor of its two founders, May and astrophysicist Garik Israelian (also a musician).

Other recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication are musician Brian Eno for his contribution to the popularization of science, and Todd Douglas Miller for his documentary of Apollo 11, which provides a "breakthrough look" at the mission that brought the first humans to the Moon

The medal was created in honor of the late and legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for individuals who promote the public awareness of science. It is an honor bestowed by the Starmus Festival to individuals in science and the arts to recognize the work of those helping to promote the public awareness of science.

When he personally presented the medals at the Starmus Festival in June 2016, Hawking said the award "matters to me, to you, to the world as a whole." This year's awards are the first to be given since the death of Hawking, who personally invited Musk to Starmus prior to his passing.

The Stephen Hawking medal was first awarded in 2015 at the Royal Society in London by a panel including the Hawking himself. It honors individuals from three communities: the scientific community, the artistic community, and the film community.

The upcoming Starmus Festival will be attended by some of the scientific community's most prolific individuals. Educator Bill Nye (The Science Guy) will be hosting the ceremonies. Also attending are Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins and six other Apollo mission astronauts.

Starmus noted that this year's awards are dedicated to the legacy of Hawking, and they are given in recognition of his affinity for applied technology. Past winners include astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the TV show "The Big Bang Theory."

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