For Immediate Release
IDA Europe, May 5, 2003
A New Award for Europe
A new award, named the "Galileo Award", has been established by IDA Europe. This award recognizes outstanding service and achievements in protecting of the night sky over Europe. This award is named after Galileo, the first astronomer to study the night sky with a telescope. Italy now has more IDA members than any other country except USA and Canada.
The first Galileo Award was presented at an International Light Pollution Symposium held near Rome May 1-3, 2003. Government leaders, environmentalists, biologists, astronomers, IDA members, and many others gathered at this conference to discuss progress in night sky protection.
Diego Bonata, President of Italy's Cielo Buio (dark skies organization), is the first winner of the Galileo Award. Among his many achievements, he successfully campaigned for the Lombardy, Italy regional law to control light pollution. He obtained more than 25,000 signatures in support of the law which were presented to the regional parliament. Mr. Bonata is very influential in promoting better quality lighting across all of Italy. His recommendations have been widely accepted across Europe.
This award will become an annual event, and it will be presented at future European Symposiums for Protection of the Night Sky. The next international symposium will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, September 12-13, 2003.