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Culture

CYA Presents Next Virtual Lecture ‘Discovering the Universe’ on Dec. 16

December 12, 2020

ATHENS – College Year in Athens (CYA) presents its next Virtual Lecture on Wednesday, December 16, 12 PM EST / 7 PM Athens, the last session of 2020.

The event’s speaker, Dionysis P. Simopoulos, an astrophysicist, Director Emeritus of the Eugenides Planetarium in Athens, and an active spokesman for science education in Greece, will lecture on Discovering the Universe and what we have learned in our quest to uncover the cosmos' hidden secrets.

With the help of the various optical and radio telescopes on Earth's surface and our orbiting observatories in space, we try to capture the messages that come from all the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. At the same time, hundreds of spacecraft are investigating up close our solar system's countless objects, while thousands of artificial satellites orbiting the Earth offer us a trove of new information about the workings of our own planet. Back on the Earth, large and powerful particle accelerators, such as CERN and Fermilab, can penetrate deep inside the atom to reveal secrets from when our Universe was first born. In more recent years, large-scale physics experiments and special laboratories, such as LIGO in the US and VIRGO in Italy, have opened another new window to the Universe by studying the gravitational waves emanating from the mergers of neutron stars and black holes.

Facilitating the discussion will be former CYA Professor Catherine Vanderpool, an archaeologist and emeritus member of the board of the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, and a good friend both of CYA and Mr. Simopoulos.

To participate in this live discussion, please register on Zoom today: https://bit.ly/3n5onvr.

If you cannot attend the "live" lecture but would like to receive a recording of the lecture, please register and it will be sent to you 1-2 days after the live event. Please note that all previous lectures may be viewed on YouTube, search CYA Virtual Lecture Series.

Born and raised in Patras, Dionysis P. Simopoulos studied communications and astronomy at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. His career began in the fall of 1967 where he served as Assistant Curator for Education and later as Planetarium Director of the Louisiana Arts and Science Center (USA). In 1973, he was invited to become the Planetarium Director of the Eugenides Foundation in Athens, Greece.

His combined talents of science knowledge and communication ability have allowed him to write and direct more than 500 half-hour network television science shows, 200 multi-media planetarium shows, while publishing hundreds of articles in Greek and in foreign magazines and newspapers. He has authored 31 popular astronomy books, and has given more than 600 lectures on science communication throughout Greece.

Simopoulos has served as President of the European Association for Astronomy Education (1994-2002), as a member of the Executive Council of the International Planetarium Society (1978-2008), and as Secretary General of the European and Mediterranean Planetarium Association (1976-2008). He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (U.K.) and the International Planetarium Society and a member of many other international scientific organizations. In 1996, he was honored with the highest IPS Service Award of the International Planetarium Society for his contributions to International Astronomy Education, and in 2006 he was honored with the Palmes Academiques of the French Republic.

In 2012, the Union of Greek Physicists honored him as the founder of the popularization of science in Greece, and in 2015 he received the Academy of Athens Award for his overall contribution to the popularization and dissemination of Astronomy and Space Science in Greece. In 2018, he received the Silver Phoenix, the highest honorary award of the Greek Scouts, for his outstanding and distinguished services.

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