MEXICO CITY – German Chancellor Angela Merkel met on Saturday with members of the German community in Mexico, to whom she spoke about her love for science while admitting that during her physics courses, some of the practical experiments gave her a hard time.
During a visit to PopUp Tour, an event that welcomes cultural and scientific activities at the foot of Mexico City’s Monument to the Revolution, Merkel told the people gathered for the occasion, mostly Germans living in the Mexican capital, that for her, science and entertainment are one and the same.
“I believe it’s a very positive thing if we can understand wehy the world is the way it is. We can spend our lives asking how an electric current works, what things are made of, why the sun rises in the morning, why the sky is blue. And if I find an answer for all of them, that’s a really good thing, and it can be a lot of fun,” she said.
She said that when she was a physics student at Leipzig University between 1973-1978 in the now-extinct German Democratic Republic, where she took her doctorate with a thesis on quantum chemistry, her problem was always that “I was better at the theoretical part than with the practical exercises.”
“When we had to solder pieces of metal, it never came out very well,” she said to the laughter of all present.
The chancellor later witnessed a contest called Science Slam between a Mexican doctor, Mike Uranga, and the German scientist Jen Otto, who briefly presented their research into fatty acids and sweat, respectively.
When the presentations were done, a moderator said that in competitions of this kind, a vote is taken among the audience to determine the winner, but asked that on this occasion, and to celebrate the friendship between Mexico and Germany, that all those present applaud if they wanted both participants to be declared winners. A thunderous and unanimous ovation followed.
Later Saturday, during an event at the Interactive Economy Museum, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with Merkel, and with many declarations about free trade, they wrapped up a visit full of symbolism and gestures of mutual friendship.
The Mexican president said that “the size and dynamism of the German economy, added to the macrostability and transformative process Mexico is going through, is and will be a winning combination in the coming years.”
Finally, before business owners and executives of both countries, Chancellor Merkel invited Mexican companies to visit the 2018 Hannover Industrial Fair, at which Mexico will be the guest nation.