On a Wednesday and Thursday, October 14th and 15th, the play W = S was presented in Talca and Curicó. This theater presentation includes events in the life of the Nobel Prize in physics, William Schockley, co-inventor of the bipolar transistor and father of the information age; at the end of his career he made controversial statements about eugenics.
The Salon Abate Molina of the University of Talca´s Outreach Center and the Outreach Center of their campus in Curicó hosted the presentations before a diverse audience which included academics, students and the general public.
The work written by Iván K. Schuller and Adam Smith, and translated into Spanish by Alejandro Sieveking and Ivan K. Schuller, was staged for the first time in Concepcion in May, thanks to the Millennium nucleus initiative in Advanced Optics of the Center for Optics and Photonics (CEFOP-UdeC) and the research group “Scenic Languages: Theater” of the graduate program in Literature, both of the University of Concepción.
W = S is under the direction of Paula González Seguel, outstanding actress, director and teacher, and founder of the KIMEN theater company and Director of the company Teatro Síntoma. Their work and search for artistic expression in the documentary genre has been recognized both in Chile and abroad, obtaining several awards, and they have performed at important international festivals in France, Brazil and Korea.
Transcendence, controversy, humanity
Seven actors give life to this story: Ingrid Fierro, Alfonso Lara, Julio Cesar Olave, Patricio Ruiz, Marco Ramírez, Valeria busts and Valentina Durán, in addition to the researcher of our Center, Dr. Juan Pablo Staforelli. In addition to on-stage preparation, they also entered CEFOP-UdeC laboratories to understand a little more about the world of physics and science.
W = S reveals the cracks, gaps and shortcomings in the always complex relations between science and ethics. The plays centers around a university lacking financial resources that has the possibility of obtaining them easily through the donation linked to an ethically controversial figure, who is also an outstanding researcher. The work makes the audience reconsider the parameters from which to discern what is ethically appropriate, or not, for a community.
Through a constant and dynamic interpellation posed to the audience, the cast tells the story of William Schockley, who received the Nobel Prize in physics as co-inventor of the bipolar transistor in 1956 and who, years later, caused a stir in the United States by making claims that were considered racist.