Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A King and a Princess walk into a lecture about charts...

Yesterday I gave a talk about How Charts Lie in Barcelona. It was part of an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Princess of Girona Foundation, which supports young Spanish artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The King, the Queen, and their two daughters, Leonor and Sofia, attended the opening ceremony on the first day.

Several parallel talks and workshops took place the day after. When I was setting up in the auditorium I was assigned, Alfredo Martínez, the chief of protocol of the Spanish Royal Household, showed up, introduced himself, and casually said—this is not verbatim—“hey, did anybody tell you that the King is coming to your lecture?” Nobody had. “No pressure,” I thought.

The King brought Princess Leonor; they sat in the front row for most of the session. I got encouraged by two facts I observed: first, the King repeatedly whispered in his daughter's ear and pointed at the screen to further explain to her some of the graphics; second—and most importantly—the Princess, who is now 14, didn't fall asleep at any point. Success!

My dear friend Xaquín G.V. took some photos with his cell phone. Here they are: