Award Ceremony and other events

On September 17, at 19:00, in the Conference Hall of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences (NAS RA), the Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize 2010 was awarded by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan to Prof. Michel Mayor (Switzerland) and his team members, Prof. Garik Israelian (Spain) and Prof. Nuno Santos (Portugal).

The Award Ceremony was a big event in the scientific life of Armenia. It was in fact a NAS RA extraordinary general meeting with invitation of many other guests. The President of Armenia and the Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, ministers, Ambassadors of foreign countries to Armenia, representatives of international organizations in Armenia, the President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences Prof. Denis Monard, Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize Steering Committee members, the President of NAS RA Prof. Radik Martirosyan, the IAU President Prof. Robert Williams, Prof. Yervant Terzian, Prof. Gennady Bisnovatyi-Kogan, Prof. Norayr Arakelyan, the Senior Editor of “Nature” Dr. Leslie Sage, the Director of the Geneva Observatory (Switzerland) Prof. Stephane Udry, the Director of Astrophysical Institute of Canary Islands (IAC, Spain) Prof. Francisco Sanchez, lecturers and students of the International School for Young Astronomers 2010 (ISYA-2010), directors and representatives of Armenian research institutes, rectors and representatives of universities and other educational establishments, students, school pupils and other guests were present. Altogether, some 430 people were present.

The Ceremony started with the Armenian national anthem followed by the speech of Prof. Radik Martirosyan who presented the principles of the Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize. Speeches were given by Prof. Williams, Prof. Monard, Prof. Terzian, and Dr. Sage. Then Mr. Serzh Sargsyan congratulated the winners and awarded the medals, certificates, and monetary award. At the end, Prof. Mayor presented a short talk on the investigations on extrasolar planets and results that were nominated for the Prize.

Several other events accompanied the Award Ceremony such as:

  • Steering Committee meeting at NAS RA on Sep 16. Prof. Martirosyan, Prof. Williams, Prof. Terzian, Prof. Arakelyan, and Dr. Mickaelian were present. Some points of the by-laws, changes in the Steering Committee members and other future matters were discussed.
  • Prof. Williams’ interview to the Armenian 2nd TV channel (H2), “Fourth studio” program. A discussion on the astronomy internationally and the role of Armenia in world astronomy was held.
  • A visit of Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize 2010 winners and Steering Committee members to the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) on Sep 17 morning. Prof. Williams was simultaneously a lecturer at ISYA-2010 and gave a lecture on the results obtained with HST. Then a meeting was held between Prof. Mayor and the school participants. The guests visited the 2.6m telescope and discussed a possible collaboration on exoplanets between Prof. Mayor’s team and BAO.
  • A press-conference by the Prize winners at NAS RA on Sep 17.
  • A dinner given by the RA President for the Prize winners, Steering Committee members, foreign guests, academicians and other invited guests on Sep 17 evening. Altogether, 80 people were present.
  • Interview by the Prize winners to the Armenian “Shant” TV company, “Herankar” program on Sep 18.
  • A visit of the Prize winners to Viktor Ambartsumian’s monument in Yerevan on Sep 18. They laid a bouquet on the pedestal.
  • An excursion for the Prize Committee members and other guests in Yerevan on Sep 18. Visits to the Yerevan “Ararat” Brandy Company, the museum of ancient manuscripts Matenadaran, etc.
  • A visit of the Prize winners and other guests to Garni and Geghard on Sep 18.
  • A dinner given by the NAS RA President for the Prize winners, Steering Committee members, and other foreign guests on Sep 18.
  • A visit of the Prize winners, Steering Committee members, and other foreign guests to lake Sevan, Dilijan and Haghartzin monastery on Sep 19.