Barthel, Prof. Peter
Prof. Peter Barthel studied physics at VU University, followed by PhD research into Quasars at Leiden Observatory. From 1984 to 1988 he worked as a researcher in Pasadena. Barthel joined the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen in 1988, and became professor of the astrophysics of active galaxies in 2004.
Barthel has been the initiator/advisor of various projects designed to draw the attention of a wider public to science and astronomy. For example, he was scientific advisor of the exhibition ‘Beyond the Stars’, produced an audiobook on CD (‘De maan in 60 minuten’ [The moon in 60 minutes]), initiated, together with the professional Grieg Pianoduo, the project ‘Keys to the Stars’, which combined live music with astronomy video images, and published ‘Santa and the Moon’, a semi-serious study of lunar phases on Sinterklaas and Christmas gift wrap and in books. In 2008, Barthel and a team of University of Groningen researchers and students won the Dutch ‘Academic Prize’ for the best dissemination of scientific research to a broad audience.
Barthel is also Rector of the University of Groningen’s Pre-University Academy and the related Northern Netherlands Knowledge Hub, which aim to encourage an interest in research in primary and secondary school pupils. In 2013 Barthel received the Willem de Graaff Award. This prize is awarded every three years to an astronomer or space researcher who has made a significant contribution to increasing the popularity of astronomy and/or space research. In October 2014, he organized an international conference on the Star of Bethlehem, together with Prof. Geurt Henk van Kooten. In 2017 his book Professor, bestaat God? (Professor, does God exist?) appeared.
- Was de ster van Bethlehem dan toch echt? (Dutch television - De Kennis van Nu, from 17:55)
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