Antonia Varela, Canary Islands Gold Medal 2024

Antonia Varela
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The researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Antonia Varela, also director of the Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos and of the Starlight Foundation, will be awarded one of the 13 Gold Medals of the Canary Islands. This is an award that the Government of the Canary Islands grants to individuals, entities and groups that have worked for the benefit of Canary Islands society in different fields. Created by Decree in 1986, this award is presented annually as part of the Canary Islands Day celebrations on 30 May. This year's institutional ceremony will take place at the Pérez Galdós Theatre in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

In addition to her outstanding career in the field of astrophysics, this award highlights her commitment to the promotion of science and the protection of the sky, making astronomy an accessible educational and tourist resource, as well as her dedication to the promotion of women's rights and gender equality, especially through her work as president of the Association of Businesswomen, Executives and Professionals BPW Canarias.

"It is a recognition that I receive with great humility, great responsibility and with great emotion and that I share with all the people and institutions that have inspired me and helped me to grow", says Varela. "I hope that this recognition will be a loudspeaker to continue to vindicate the importance of preserving our skies, to support science and to continue working for an increasingly fair and egalitarian society," she adds.

More information:

Gobierno de Canarias Press Release

Starlight Fundation Press Release

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Antonia Varela Pérez has been appointed by the Cabildo of Tenerife, at the proposal of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), as the new director of the Museum of Science and the Cosmos. Varela will take over from Héctor Socas Navarro, also a researcher at the IAC, who has been in charge of the Museum since 2019. Varela is a researcher at the IAC and a member of the IAC's Sky Quality Group for the Characterisation of the Canary Observatories and the Starburst Formation Group. She is also managing director of the Starlight Foundation and president of BPW Canarias, as well as a PhD in
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