UNIVERSITY HELD UNPRECEDENTED SCIENCE MEETING IN THE REGION
A UNIVERSAL EFFORT WAS DONE TO ORGANIZE THE “CONGRESS OF THE FUTURE”, AN INITIATIVE FROM THE SENATE WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE REGIONAL GOVERNMENT AND ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS.
January 11, 2017
The most important scientific and technological gathering of Latin America and the fifth in the world was held in our Corporation, at the Talca and Curicó campuses. The Congress of the Future brought together not only authorities and prestigious scientists, but also Maulean citizens.
The event was broadcasted via streaming through CAMPUSTV. The TV channel of our Academic Institution conducted a big technical deployment to show minute-to-minute conferences and discussion panels.
More than a thousand people signed up to follow the interventions of the conference; with the motto "We All Make the Future" it attracted the interest from young people to older adults, to learn about the great dilemmas currently facing society.
The Congress of the Future was born as the initiative of the Senate of the Republic six years ago and, for the first time, arrived in the Maule Region and other regions. "Knowledge must be an option for everybody and allow different age groups to have access to a discussion of tolerance, respect, and also of boldness”, said the Intendant, Pablo Meza. He also wondered about what is happening with the codes of ethics and pointed to the public policies that must be consistent with the changes to come.
For Senator Juan Antonio Coloma, Member of the Challenges of the Future Senate Commission, this Congress is the result of a remarkable transversal effort, which grew out of the idea of creating an alliance between the scientific, humanist and political worlds to reflect on the future and at the highest level.
Toward the Citizens
The acting president of our University, Gilda Carrasco, stressed that the main value of this event bringing knowledge to the citizens and to bring the Academia, with the great issues of science, technology and innovation, closer to the community. In particular, she stressed that for the first time this event was held in Talca and Curico.
She also highlighted the coordinated work of the institutions that participated in the organization of this meeting in the Maule Region, with the objective of disseminating the work in science and technology to improve the quality of life in the country and the region.
In addition, she said that "in a society immersed in a maelstrom of science and technology", where knowledge multiplies rapidly, questions arise: "For what? How do we take it to educate of children and young people? How do we prepare for the future? How does it affect our quality of life?”
In that regard, she said that the issues addressed approach answers to these questions, through international experts who made their work known and who, together with researchers, allow leading to a reflection on development as an individual. "We all seek happiness and to the extent that we know how to take care of ourselves and live better, we can do it", she said.
The President also talked about the announcement of the President of the Republic on the bill that creates the Ministry of Science and Technology, about which she expressed her praise, but at the same time that researchers hope that this initiative involves availability of resources for the development of frontier knowledge, technology and innovation, which allows the incorporation of young academics to the domestic industry, too, in addition to the Academia. She also expressed the need for researchers coming from places outside of Santiago, to have financing in order to contribute with their good ideas in different areas.
Scientists from our University participated actively in the meeting. One of them, Rodrigo Giacaman, reported results of his research, in a presentation called "Aging Smiling, New Challenges for the Dentistry of the Future", in a scenario that places Chile as one of the most aged countries in the world.
In another block, spoke the French paleontologist, Bruno David, who reviewed the major crises that have affected the planet since prehistoric times, the factors that have influenced it and their consequences, for example in the biosphere and ecosystems. He admitted that we may be at the beginning of a new crisis, "but faster than the old ones and that is very worrying".
Subsequently, the researcher of our University, Samuel Ortega, addressed the topic "Climate Change, an Ethical Challenge for Society" to describe the global scenario in that aspect, with increasingly intense and frequent and predatory human action that has led to global warming. "The technology exists, but what are we doing to mitigate climate change," said Ortega, along with a call to awareness.
A panelist on this block was the academic from the Institute of Biological Sciences, Christian Figueroa.
During the afternoon took place the presentation of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, Jack Szostak, who talked mainly about the research that has been carried out in order to give some answers to the questions about the origin of life.
Subsequently, the block focused on knowledge societies, in which participated mathematician Maria Aravena, from the UCM, and Ricardo Baeza, from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics of our Academic Institution, with Professor Eduardo Aguirre, from the School of Architecture, acting as moderator.
Within the framework of the Congress of the Future 2017, the seminar "Italy, Piedmont and its Wines: the Testimony of One of its Protagonists" took place previous day, with the participation of Angelo Gaja, economist and Italian Winemaker from the University of Turin and owner of vineyards in the European country.