Devil itself provokes us to indulge ourselves into the mischievous world of chocolates. But as I attended the opening ceremony of the 58th meeting of Laureates in Physics, this idea seemed to change. Chocolate science is, in fact, advancing the state-of-the-art science and technology. Pamela Mars Wright, one of the benefactors of the famous chocolate company, Mars Inc., which has been a close collaborator with this Lindau meeting, informed all the audience of their big R&D project across the globe. One of the research that intrigues me is their work on thin film photonic structures with which they intend to control the color of their m&m gems without using artificial color.
The opening ceremony was grand. The composition of theramin by Kavina, the most celebrated performer of theramin in the world and piano by Kouzmenko filled the air with grandeur and made the air heavy. Countess Sonja Bernadotte delivered her opening message and introduced to us the laureates, at first Smoot (2006), Grunberg (2007) who are attending the meeting for the first time.
The concluding lecture by Prof. Rosling of Korolinska Institute, Stockholm was the most pleasant experience of the day. About the world view, we are very much driven by the presumption, not by facts. In a very jolly manner, he pointed out how ignorant we are about the current world situation. He drew an example. The best of his Swedish students scored an average 1.8/5 in multiple choice quiz he designed on the child mortality rate. Well, a group of Chimpanzees would score an 2.5 /5 based on equal probability for each answer. The professors scored better than students, 2.4/5 still worse than the Chimpanzees. He calls this predetermined ignorance. He did drew analogy of country taxonomy. We used to categorize countries into developed and developing countries. But this division is based on the assumption that there is a big gap in the economic indicators of this groups of countries. But actually he refered the curves like life expectancy vs GDP which clearly shows that unlike 1950s all the countries are uniformly distributed in this graph. The source of this ignorance, is it a propaganda? He did not indictae that directly. One of his concluding remarks were this, the corporate sector has a better understanding of the world than the academic sector. Why? Because they find out the best places to invest.