An action by the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics Konstantin Novoselov and the artist Kate Daudy filled the center of Segovia with sheep. They wanted to symbolize how opposites can coexist (half of the sheep has YES written on it and the other half NO) (in eco-friendly and biodegradable paint with the first jet of rain), how they can be together and walk in unison. The sheep were herded into a fenced enclosure next to the Segovia aqueduct, to the surprise of neighbors and tourists.
"We see that history divides us, with this action we want to show that it is possible to overcome the division and live based on universal fundamental values," said Novoselov.
“We have moved away – he added – from the fundamental values and we focus only on those things that give us arguments and the possibility of fighting, and I believe that in life you do not have to win or lose, but live with dignity, making it interesting for us. and for those close to us”.
Novoselov won the most prestigious prize in physics 12 years ago for his research on graphene, a widely used material, and in this edition of the Hay Festival in Segovia he has also given a talk, in which he explained how his current research deals with to find inert materials that act like living ones. Self-healing materials. Materials that –for example– allow a crack in the mobile screen, that so common and sometimes expensive, to repair itself.
Novoselov is both a scientist and an artist. How do both facets feed each other? “Science studies what we don't know and tries to push the frontier of knowledge ever further. Over time you stop asking yourself difficult questions, and the fusion between art and physics allows me to ask those questions”. For now he does not dare to venture new discoveries, because he is very good, he says, "making predictions about the past." "I work with graphene, trying to create living materials, on the border of life and death, materials that can have abilities of living systems, such as healing."
The presenter, Diego del Álcazar, could not help but ask him if he believed in God: “As a physicist, I know less and less things. I am an agnostic, but I believe that somewhere there is some divine form. I don't know if it's a bearded face or an equation, but I think there's a fundamental rule that rules the world. We scientists cheat, because we try not to answer the question why. We stay in the how and that is comfortable”.