Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy to be opened with 'a big bang'

ISSA to organise a 3-day workshop ‘Cosmology in the Med’ in the run up to Science in the City

Professor George Smoot will be giving a public lecture on The Big Bang Theory on Wednesday 24 September at Valletta Campus.
Professor George Smoot will be giving a public lecture on The Big Bang Theory on Wednesday 24 September at Valletta Campus.

Big Bang theory fans will have a golden opportunity to expand their horizons and have the mysteries of the universe pried open by a globally-acclaimed astrophysicist George Fitzgerald Smoot III, a Nobel laureate.

Prof. Smoot’s public lecture – scheduled for Wednesday 24 September from 7.00pm – 9.00pm at Valletta Campus – will be a befitting postlude to the inauguration of Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy (ISSA) during an event which will also feature opening speeches by the Minister of Education Evarist Bartolo, the University of Malta Pro-Rector for Research and Innovation Professor Richard Muscat and the Director of ISSA Dr Kristian Zarb Adami.

Being held on the sidelines of the upcoming Science in the City to lend a particle of excitement to the ever-expanding Festival, Prof. Smoot’s appearance at ISSA’s inauguration will be followed by the Institute’s first public workshop ‘Cosmos in the Med’, from 24 to 26 September at Valletta Campus, where science educators and university students reading for B.Ed will be provided with the skills and knowledge required to teach astronomy from eminent scientists.

Dr Zarb Adami said: “ISSA was set up with members from the University of Malta Faculties of Science, Engineering and ICT to explore and develop observational and theoretical facets of new physics. ISSA will give fresh impetus to this area of science in Malta as it reaches out and captures the imagination of the Maltese on the intricacies of the universe.”

The workshop ‘Cosmos in the Med’ is the latest in a series of ‘Teaching the Universe’ workshops given by Prof Smoot, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for the discovery of fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background.

This work helped further the Big Bang theory of the universe using the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite. According to the Nobel Prize committee, "the COBE project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science." 

Joining Prof. Smoot are world renowned scientists Prof. Jim Rich, Dr Chiara Ferrari and Dr Edward Porter. The workshop is being held in conjunction with the Malta Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Education, ISSA at the University of Malta and the U.S. Embassy.

Attendance to ISSA inauguration can be confirmed via Facebook:; by sending an email to [email protected] or by calling 2340 2524.

More information about the three-day workshop is available on or