Althulatha Cultural Forum hosted a seminar titled “Scientific Inspiration: a Tour around the futuristic science”. The seminar was given by Ali Albahrani, who is an education specialist, content creator, and producer and presenter of the well-known “Eureka” Show. The seminar took place on the evening of Tuesday the 3rd of December, 2019. The session, which was well attended by a group of content creators and science fans, was moderated by Dr. Mohammed Alhamaqy. The guest of honor was Mr. Saeed Alkhabbaz, who is an esteemed social figure and community and business leader.
The seminar was preceded by several activities. The first was a short film celebrating the international day of persons with disabilities. The second was the second and final part of an art gallery which was presented by Ali Alsawary on Arabic calligraphy. In the third activity, the Forum awarded Miss Masoma Alhamdan, a member of the 100 millionaire initiative. Masoma was recognized for her creative work in transforming antiques into new products that serve current needs with a modern style. Miss Alhamdan said that she learned this craft from her mother. The fourth and final activity was an introduction of the book “Brown is My Color,” by its author Miss Anhar Fardan. This book is the latest of her children’s book collection, some of which were used in many puppet shows. The book introduction was immediately followed by the Mr. Ali Albahrani’s seminar.
Mr. Ali Albahrani began the seminar by asserting that the world’s new challenge is to keep up with all the new fields of science, an endeavor that necessarily requires establishing public and private science institutions to conduct rigorous scientific research. Mr. Albahrani added that any scientific content needs to be adapted and simplified for lay people. To accomplish this, media platforms and nonprofit organizations need to join forces and serve as conduits between scientists and the public. More specifically, they would assume the task of translating all scientific discoveries and research results into user-friendly language.
Moreover, the speaker emphasized the importance of assessing current community interests in order to more effectively introduce scientific content to the public. He gave an example of using TV series and movies to introduce the latest scientific discoveries like the Si-Fi movie “Interstellar” whose science advisor was physicist Kip Thorne, who was a Nobel Prize. That is one of the various ways scientists can share their knowledge both in an easy and accessible language and through the means and platforms accessible by the public.
Mr. Albahrani shared his experience in sharing scientific content through theater shows, children’s courses and workshops in different cities. In 2011, Mr. Albahrani experienced a turning point in his professional work when he read a study conducted by Aramco and Alfeker AlArabi institution, which showed that scientific content is under reported by and in the media. This revelation encouraged him to start recording videos explaining scientific phenomena and uploading them into YouTube as part of his popular “Eureka” show. His show received rave reviews and high viewer ratings. It also received many awards, one of which was from King Abdul-Aziz center “Ithra” for his episode “lack of sleep effect on human health”.
Afterward, Mr. Albahrain spoke about Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives which was developed as a critique of the prevalent rote-memory teaching and learning process. Bloom argued that teaching and learning needs to build on and going beyond the basic knowledge of the first level to understanding, analyzing, composing and creating. Bloom’s taxonomy is built on the assumption that the ultimate goal of education is to enable learners to do something creative and novel with what they have learned. That is, learners need to be able to thoughtfully apply what they have learned and create something with it.
Moreover, the speaker shared what he learned during his visit to the CERN center for futuristic research in Switzerland. The center was first established sixty years ago to entice emigrant European scientists to return and conduct research in their home countries. CERN focuses on scientific fields of the future such as the reaction of protons under high forces, matters and antimatters and micro black holes.
Finally, Mr. Albahrani stated that his “Eureka” show is an endeavor to disseminate scientific knowledge to the public and to contribute to the realization of the 2030 vision of the kingdom. Great efforts are inevitably fraught with challenges, and Mr. Albahrani mentioned difficulties in securing license and proper official approval of his work, lack of publicity and funding as the main challenges that he has been dealing with.
The discussion session commenced with a question from Mr. Haidar Aljawad about the amount of antimatter produced in the CERN center. Next, Mr. Muaied Aldhamen shared his own experience in disseminating scientific material through the Snap Chat app, and mentioned that that finding scientific information takes quite a bit of time due to the paucity of scientific resources in public libraries. Mr. Hassan Alkhater asked about the reason for the shortage of antimatter in the world. While Mr. Mubarak Almilad expressed interest in learning more about the key qualities scientists have. Mr. Taqi Alyusuf remarked that many of the miracles mentioned in some religious resources have scientific explanations, especially those offered by the field of physics.
The discussion continued with Miss Narjis Alkhabbaz inquiring whether it is possible for science to, one day, be able to control time. Miss Huda Alowa asked about what the scientists’ future vision and opportunities are. After that, Mr. Ayoub Alhamza explained that the big bang theory is a result of well-balanced ratios of mass and energy that could eliminate theory of the enlarging black hole which might swallow the universe in the future. As for Mr. Zaki Alawamy, the question was whether the speed of light could be exceeded one day, and why the Middle East does not have a research center like CERN. The last comment was from Mr. Tariq Alkhars who argued that many companies are blocking studies and research projects that threaten their businesses.
The guest of honor, Mr. Saeed Alkhabbaz, wrapped up the seminar by highlighting the One Hundred Millionaire Initiative which aims at empowering women to start, lead and successfully manage their own businesses. Mr. Alkhabbaz indicated that the program is showing positive results so far. Mr. Alkhabbaz concluded his remarks by applauding the efforts of Althulatha Cultural Forum in promoting and elevating awareness in the community about a variety of current and critical topics and issues that are addressed by highly knowledgeable and capable guest speakers.