DAY 0: Arrival Day at Starmus!!
Sunday 21st September, 2014.
Sunday was the official arrival day at STARMUS, the most prestigious science festival in the world featuring presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and prominent figures from science, culture, the arts and music, located in Tenerife, Spain.
All the speakers have arrived, including the likes of Brian May, Richard Dawkins and a number of Nobel Prize winners such as Sir Harold Kroto, John Mather and Walter Cunningham.
Stephen Hawking has already been here for a week taking in the sights at beautiful sunny Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain - what great weather we've had for the festival so far!
Last night Dolly-Ann (Ann), Snoopy (aka Space Dog) and I attended a cocktail party where we met all the other VIP guests and speakers and had the chance to catch up with Brian May and the organiser of Starmus, Garik. Garik introduced me to Stephen Hawking and, as you can imagine, the nerves set in! It was quite a surreal experience finally meeting the man himself: one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. His work on the origins of the structure of the Universe, the Big Bang and black holes has revolutionised the field of cosmology.
Garik explained to Mr Hawking that I was the director of 51º NORTH, an independent docu-drama film communicating the threat of asteroids to earth by following the journey of Damon Miller, a budding filmmaker tasked to capture the last moments of life on earth before it collides with an apocalyptic asteroid.
Hawking was hooked, he instantly wanted to know more about the film. He asked his assistant to find me and tell him further details. So there I was... standing in front of the man himself for five minutes discussing my film. He was intrigued by the topic and how we intended to mix science with fiction.
Hawking went on to spot Space Dog Snoopy in Dolly-Ann's bag and smiled (his nurses told us) and Dolly-Ann offered him to take photos with Space Dog Snoopy! He seemed to like the idea and Snoopy quickly ended up on his lap. Within seconds dozens of people gathered around him to take pictures and Dolly-Ann ended up in the photo herself with Snoopy and Hawking.