Last Thrusday, on the fifteenth of October, my teacher, Mr David Delgado, and I, Joel Dacasa, attended the Brilliant Minds Conference hosted in Madrid.
Hitherto only five editions organised, the symposium consisted of speeches – each approximately 21 minutes in length – given by experts specialised in different fields of study. The topics of the orations ranged from such diverse affairs as from education to war.
During the event, we had the privilege of listening to various learned and knowledgeable people, some examples being physicist Jorge Wagensberg, PhD and phylosopher Gregorio Luri, PhD, who offered their experiences of and opined on the subject of education and the best way of applying it. Both made extensive use of the time they had and shared very interesting views on the matter, and tried to consider factors seldom thought of by educators, not least the manner of captivating and holding a child or teenager’s attention.
Furthermore, we were quite bemused and interested by another elocutionist, biologist Stephano Mancuso, PhD, upon his showing us how plants are more aware than we think: employing sped up recordings as well as data gathered in his laboratory, he backed up the claim that plants are actually aware of their surroundings, and, most importantly, of other plants similar or different from them. Insofar as his documentation showed – that is, most notably two pea plants competing to get hold of a pole around which to grow, or the same species growing towards one about a meter away -, his thesis seemed very plausible.
Ensuing was the appearance of physicist Gladis Aparicio, PhD. Amongst her many titles, she has been named the best inventor in the world.
The speech she gave was of her creation: a membrane partly made from spider string that was more flexible than nylon with the potential, if treated, of being either insulating or an excellent conductor. Certainly an astonishing discovery, all the more so because of the hard work and research behind the project.
To close the event, the symposium tackled the topic of war.
To illustrate, offer his experience, and give counsel came Israeli ex-diplomat Shlomo Ben-Ami, who is an accomplished historian and politician, and who partook in the 2000 Camp David Summit. He spoke extensively of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its causes and delivered on other fighting and hostilities.
Moreover, we were astounded when Kim Phúc, the so-called «girl in the picture“ and photographer Nick Út came to relate what they lived during the Vietnam War.
Kim Phúc appears in a famous picture taken by Nick Út, which is said to have put an end to the war. It depicts a young Kim walking away naked from her home village, which had just been burned down and destroyed by Napalm Bombs.
She attested for the horror and pain of the experience, as she was badly burned by the fire and contemplated her baby brother die in the hands of her mother. She barely survived, necessitating extensive surgery to recover, and she bears the scars of the explosions to this day.
At the very end of her presentation, she advocated for world peace, offering ideas and her views on wars of any kind. Lastly, she compared and contrasted her convictions with the aforementioned Israeli ex-minister of foreign affairs to bring a fitting end to the conference.
by Joel Dacasa