I kicked off the day taking a relaxing stroll to the Einstein Museum. This exhibition about Einstein's life and work is part of the larger Historical Museum Berne. It started in 2005 to commemorate the centenary of the ‘Wonder Year’ in which Einstein published five pioneering works, namely the Relativity Theory and Brownian Movement, in seven months.
The 1200-square-metre exhibition features plenty personal objects belonging to the great scientist and animated videos to illustrate Einstein’s abstract theories. The museum has moved most of the exhibits – including a good number of originals – to the Einstein in Hong Kong exhibition starting April 18 in the Science Museum.
After lunch, I headed for the University of Bern. Like the HK University of Science and Technology, it puts an emphasis on natural sciences subjects - they even have a teaching and research centre named after Einstein. “Everything we do will not work, if Einstein’s theories are not true,” says Antonio Ereditato, director of the Laboratory for High Energy Physics (LHEP). LHEP runs research projects surrounding fundamental physics that can be applied to our daily life, for example detecting nitrogen-rich explosions in cargo planes.
For the night, the Swiss consulate has special plans for my fellow journalist friends and I. We had dinner in three different homes of local Swiss families. I met Mr Beat Schupfer and his 8-year-old daughter Aisha. They live in a down-to-earth 3-bedroom apartment on a 14-storey building overlooking the city and the Alps. Schupfer prepared us a delectable meal of croissants with turkey-filling, Swiss sausages and meringues topped with cream.
Over dinner, we talked about the education, political system, travelling in Switzerland and much more. I am very impressed how talented the Swiss are with languages. Most of the population are trilingual – they speak fluent German, French and English. The key reasons are their situation in the heart of Europe and is a hub for different ethinicities.
The Einstein Museum entrance
Joyee Chan in front of the Einstein Museum