The Tiiu Sild Prize for lifetime work in popularizing science was awarded to Mare Ruusalepp

Laurits Leedjärv | 19.11.2015

Mare Ruusalepp, a long term scientific secretary, head of the information
group, head of the visitor's centre of the Tartu Observatory, and leader
of the Stellaarium, deserved the Tiiu Sild Prize of 2015 for communicating
astronomy to more than one hundred thousand people. 

Mare Ruusalepp
was awarded with the Tiiu Sild Prize 2015
for lifetime work in popularizing science

State prizes for popularization of science were awarded on November 19, 2015 in the glass hall of the Tallinn song festival stage, in the end of the conference "Nine can do what one cannot" organized by the Estonian Research Council.

"In 2008, the non-profit organization Stellaarium deserved the first prize in the state competition on popularization of science. Now the intellectual mother and leader of the Stellaarium Mare Ruusalepp was recognized personally for dissemination of knowledge on astronomy and on Tartu Observatory as a scientific and cultural centre to the Estonian nation. This is what to be pride of," told Laurits Leedjärv, senior researcher of Tartu Observatory and chairman of the Estonian National Committee on Astronomy.

During the last 18 years 3875 excursion groups with 97 421 visitors have visited Tartu Observatory at Tõravere. Mare Ruusalepp has personally guided about one third of these groups, and has communicated with group leaders and teachers of all the remaining groups.

In Estonian the word "täht" means both star in the sky and alphabet letter. So we can say that Mare Ruusalepp has taught tens of thousands of schoolchildren to read the book of the heaven. If even only a few per cent of them were inspired from this teaching to continue their studies in exact and natural sciences or technology, this would be a great contribution to the economy of Estonia as well as to our community as a whole.