HSci 2005   July 13 -16, 2005 - University of Crete campus at Rethymno - Greece.
Some concluding remarks as an ‘after dinner’ speech
Dear colleagues and friends
On duty and reluctantly I am interrupting for a minute your entertainment to make some remarks on this successful and, as I see, enjoyable Hsci 2005 International Conference.
The particiapnts officially registered to the Conference were 147 in total from more than 24 countries from the five continents.
For many of them (~40%), being students or teachers coming, mainly, from countries of the recent EU enlargement, their attendance was without the conference fees.
The Conference was kept open to everyone in The University of Crete campus. This resulted to a significant number of persons (~100 as estimated from the coffee consumed during the breaks), mainly students and school teachers from the local area, to attend also the Conference, and, as I can see, some are also with us here.
Both these facts were accepted (if not promoted on purpose) because we believe that a Conference like the Hsci 2005 one should especially address and disseminate its outcomes mainly to the schools, students and school teachers. On this aspect, I believe we have succeeded.
There is however an alarming point I like to share with you. Some colleagues, outside the EU, who had expressed an interest to participate (some had already arranged their fees) they were, finally, unable to attend "because visa formalities took much longer than anticipated".
I want to believe that this is due only to increased bureaucracy. I am, however, afraid that the real cause is the increased security measures. You see, it seems that there is a continuing effort from many parts here and there to divide again the world into the good ones and the evil ones (the evil being always the others) returning us to dark ages.
We must oppose this eventuality. International Conferences like the Hsci 2005 one provide means of such an opposition. They refer to Science promoting rationalism against superstition and dogmatism. This is done with the scientific works and experiences presented, and we had many excellent works here. .
However, scientific works may be presented, perhaps more efficiently, in the papers, in scientific ones addressing specialists or in mass media addressing the general public. .
The real advantage of being into Conferences is that you meet people from other places, possibly from different cultures, and, in the informal discussions during the breaks and the social events of the Conference, the participants come to know their colleagues in other countries, establish links, understand better their social and cultural values and appreciate the diversity of human behaviours.
That is why we have taken special care to organize this dinner in this way.
Enjoy the event and have a nice time.
Rethimno, July 15, 2005
The Chairman of the local Organizing Committee,
P. G. Michaelides, B.Sc., Ph.D., LL.B., Professor at The University of Crete.