Rector to Award the Grand Gold Medal to World Renowned Physicist Kip S. Thorne

Bratislava, 7 October 2021: Physics Nobel Prize laureate, Professor Kip S. Thorne, is visiting Comenius University Bratislava on Wednesday, 13 October 2021, to participate in an event co-organised by the ESET Foundation. On the occasion the Rector of Comenius University, Professor Marek Števček, will present the Grand Gold Medal of Comenius University to the world's leading scientist for his crucial contribution to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.

08. 10. 2021 08.51 hod.
By: CU External Relations Office

Professor Kip Thorne is an American physicist and an internationally recognized expert on gravitational physics and astrophysics who specialises in relativistic stars, black holes, and gravitational waves. He is one of the three scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2017 for the first direct detection and observation of gravitational waves. He has also made a name for himself in cinema as the executive producer and scientific advisor to Christopher Nolan's Hollywood movie Interstellar.

"I deeply respect Professor Thorne's excellent research and I highly appreciate his passion for the popularisation of science. He showed it by swapping his role of a physicist for the role of an actor, but has other popularisation activities like those undertaken in cooperation with ESET Foundation," said the Rector of Comenius University Marek Števček. "It is with a feeling of great honour that I present him the Grand Gold Medal, the highest recognition that Comenius University can bestow," he added.

The ceremony at which the Grand Gold Medal of Comenius University will be awarded takes place on 13 October 2021, at 9:30 a.m., in the Auditorium of Comenius University at 6 Šafárik square in Bratislava. The award ceremony will be followed by Professor Kip Thorne’s lecture entitled: "My profound relationship with the curved universe: from black holes and wormholes to time travel and gravitational waves."

The ceremony and the lecture will be broadcast live to lecture halls at several other Slovak universities and will also be streamed online.

The world renowned theoretical physicist visits Slovakia to act as the chairman of the international jury which will award the ESET Science Award to excellent researchers. The international jury which is chaired by Professor Kip Thorne, will select laureates in two main categories - Outstanding Individual Contributor to Slovak Science and Exceptional Young Scientist in Slovakia Under the Age of 35.

"The visit of Professor Kip Thorne is a great honour for our country - and especially for its scientific community," says Richard Marko, CEO of ESET. "In addition to being an excellent scientist and researcher, Professor Thorne is also an avid populariser of scientific knowledge. His passion enables him to engage millions around the world and ignite fascination with hitherto unexplored aspects of the universe and the world around us."

Admission to the ceremonial presentation of the Grand Gold Medal and the lecture by Kip S. Thorns is free, but the current pandemic situation dictates that all guests must be vaccinated. You can register at this website until the capacity is filled.

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About Comenius University

Comenius University Bratislava is a modern European research university. It is the only Slovak university which regularly appears in global university rankings. Its thirteen faculties offer the widest selection of study programmes at three academic levels of study, and some of its programmes are entirely unique in Slovakia. The university sends out the most Slovak students abroad and receives the most international students of any Slovak university.

About ESET Foundation

ESET Foundation was established in 2011 and focuses on improving IT and internet security education, popularising science and research, and supporting civil society projects. During the ten successful years of its existence, ESET Foundation has established long-term partnerships with organisations whose goals and actions contribute to the fulfilment of its focus. Find more information at

About the ESET Science Award

The ESET Science Award recognises the scientific work of excellent scientists, researchers and academics and acknowledges their contribution to other areas of life. A respected international jury chooses the laureates of the award using stringent criteria such as current research impact and publications, scientometrics, involvement in international research projects, creativity, communication, impact on other areas of life, observation of science ethics and recognition by co-workers and students. The award is presented annually by the ESET Science Award.