The documentary Particle Fever, which Professor David Kaplan co-produced, became one of three inaugural recipients of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. In collaboration with the Starmus Festival, Stephen Hawking personally selected the awardees for “outstanding contributions in the articulation and portrayal of science to the public, within the three categories of science, art, and film.”
With a mission to bring science to the people and to position it in our daily lives, the Stephen Hawking Medal of Science was born in late 2015 to honor individuals and entities that had contributed, in an eminent way, to popularizing science. The other recipients of the award in this first edition were Jim Al-Khalili, physicist, writer and broadcaster, and Hans Zimmer, film and television composer.
According to Garik Israelian, astrophysicist, founder and director of the Starmus Festival: “these three medals enclose a fundamental message: the importance of disseminating Science and all its achievements to the general public and to inspire too, young people to show interest in the world of Science. The winners have not only understood the dimension of this challenge, but also have led in different disciplines, the transmission and development of knowledge, beating the barriers between science and communication…The documentary film, Particle Fever, directed by Mark Levinson and produced by David E. Kaplan, Mark Levinson, Andrea Miller and Carla Solomon, is the winner in the category of Film, for insights into the life and work of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Culminating in the discovery of the Higgs Boson”.
The award ceremony award took place at the Starmus Festival in Tenerife, Canary Islands in June of 2016. The festival brings together the brightest minds from astronomy with tech business leaders and creative industries thinkers to debate the future of humanity. The program included the participation of eleven Nobel laureates in disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and Astronomy. Professor Stephen Hawking presented the awards, along with astrophysicist and lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, Brian May.