St Elmo to host 90 scientists for international conference

Some 90 scientists from around the world, all students of the universe,  are to meet in Malta for a whole week under one roof.

Fort St Elmo in Valletta will welcome these scientists to present and discuss their latest research findings.

This event is being held on the initiative of the Physics Department and the Institute of Spatial Sciences and Astronomy (ISSA) of the University of Malta.

The international conference will tackle the early universe, and will focus particularly on some of the first galaxies which formed the universe.

Dr Joseph Caruana, Chairman of the scientific board of the conference, told that it had been his wish for a number of years to bring together for a Malta meeting a group of specialists in this sector, some of them colleagues and collaborators, to share their ideas in a location which in his opinion is ideal for such conferences.

“We are living in a period which is very special for astronomy, which a number of telescopes and instruments which will soon be operational and will assist us in our search for answers to some of the biggest secrets of the universe,” Dr Caruana added. “This is an opportune time to bring together scientists in this sector and to share our ideas on the future.”

The Head of the Department of Physics and Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Charles Sammut, said a number of excellent prospects exist for those who graduate in physics.

ISSA Director Professor Cristian Zarb Adami explained that the designers of iSquare Kilometre Array were in Malta earlier this month to collaborate with ISSA on software for this telescope.

“Prominent scientists from around the world are now in Malta to discuss the synergy between this project and other instruments to assist in the discovery of what removed the fog from the universe billions of years ago,” Zarb Adami stated.

As part of the conference, in which Heritage Malta and the Tourism Authority are collaborating, a public activity is being organised for Thursday, 21 July at 6.30 p.m. at the Old University in Valletta. At this event two scientists will deliver talks on the dark matter and the James Webb Space Telescope which will be launched in space in 2018.

Additional details are obtainable from the conference website