Maulean Citizens Were Able to Interact with Prestigious Scientists

The Congress of the Future was the event where ordinary people could know about science and technology and get answers to big questions

January 17, 2018

New ideas and technological advances to change and make the world better provided the speakers of the 7th version of the Congress of the Future, that in the Maule Region was held in the Great Hall of the Bicentenary building. In this place, prestigious foreign and national scientists of our University presented their proposals and talked with the public.

"Awareness today" was the slogan under which this event was developed, organized by the Senate of the Republic and the Regional Development Corporation, and hosted by our House of Studies. The universities also had a presence through some speakers.

For the second consecutive year CampusTV, the TV channel of our institution, was in charge of bringing all the details of the Congress of the Future to the screen. With a wide human and technical deployment, the media led the television broadcasting.

Not only the Chilean public was able to follow the event through; more than 500 viewers in the United States, Spain, Argentina, Germany, United Kingdom, Peru and Pakistan were also connected to the broadcasting.

For the UTALCA, the academic Cesar Astudillo, of the Faculty of Engineering; Hugo Salgado, of the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEN), and Nelson Brown of the School of Medicine participated as panelists.


"We are very pleased to participate, together with the Catholic University of Maule and the Autonomous University of Chile in this activity, for the second time, in which we can bring science closer to the community as a whole," emphasized the acting president of the University of Talca, Gilda Carrasco".

In that regard, she emphasized that it is necessary that the science and technology generated by researchers is disclosed, because if it is not known, it does not exist. "This is a great opportunity to have major speakers like Professor Terence Tao with us," she said. Along with this, I appreciate the opportunity to encourage children and young people for science "and for them to be also actors of development for our country".

In the opening of the Congress of the Future 2017, the Intendant of the Maule Region, Pablo Meza, said that for the second year, the Congress of the Future takes place in a decentralized manner in 11 regions, and added that this is the most important pole of scientific dissemination in the southern hemisphere, "where problems facing or will face the society of the future are exposed ".

For his part, Senator Juan Antonio Coloma, President of the Commission Challenges of the Future of the Senate, referred to the great amount of knowledge available in the world today and how this expansion has been changing the lives of all. At the same time, he links the Congress of the Future with the concept of "democratizing knowledge", with the idea that every person has access to this.


The Maulean citizens had the opportunity to listen to a distinguished mathematician from the University of California at Los Angeles, Terence Tao; the journalist from Columbia University and founder of the Transhumanist Party, Zoltán Istman; the expert in sustainable development at the University of Surrey (United Kingdom), Tim Jackson, and biochemist from the University of Buenos Aires, Alberto Kornblihtt.

At the inaugural conference, the academic from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics from the University of Talca, Stephen Griffeth, introduced Terence Tao, considered the best mathematician in the world today. Tao explained how mathematics have been fundamental in the development of astronomy, from times in which there were no instruments that would help to get new knowledge in this field.

With these examples, he illustrated how mathematics is present in everything in the present world. Similarly, with regard to the teaching of this subject in schools, he is of the opinion that teachers tend to discourage students because they can learn exercises that don't have much meaning. "It's like you teach music, but only to play musical scales and not to enjoy the music. We need teachers with a good mathematical basis and make a good learning environment for children, expose them not only to the foundations of mathematics but to the applied mathematics, with talks and exhibitions about how mathematics is used in the whole world," remarked the scientist, after his conference.


In the first major topic of the Congress of the Future, identified as "A Cyborg World”, Professor of the Faculty of Engineering Cesar Astudillo referred to "artificial intelligence without science fiction". His approach is geared to break down some myths that popular culture has raised around artificial intelligence. As stated, images such as "Terminator" and other futuristic movies, where the machines have the control of the world and exterminate the man, should not necessarily be a reality.

In the panel on new frontiers in health, the director of the center for medical research of our University, Nelson Brown, spoke of the "dark side" of cellular aging and explained how senescent cells influence the aging of the people, increasing the risk of chronic non-communicable diseases and cancers.
For his part, the academic form the Faculty of Economics and Business, Hugo Salgado, intervened in the section called "Prosperity on a Finite Planet", moderated by professor Roberto Jara, from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. In his topic "Our behavior in Front of the Environment: Economic Rationality or Limited Intelligence," he put in doubt the human condition in the light of decisions clearly harmful to the environment and future life.