World Science Hertiage Sites

Over the past two years, I have been to a few of the sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list during my travels. The list covers cultural and geographical sites of importance all over the world. Many of these sites are stunning locations such as the Grand Canyon, Giant's Causeway or Te Wahipounamu. Some are from the ancient world like the Pyramids or the historic centre of Rome. There are also some from much more recent history such as Saltaire in Yorkshire.

This week the UK National Commission for UNESCO has met with experts from 15 nations in London to discuss the possibility of making it easier to add more sites representing our scientific and technological heritage. In their discussions they suggested places such as the particle physics laboratory CERN and Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire. Of course these are just examples of places that might meet their criteria and haven't been formally suggested.

I think it is right for these sorts of places to be given recognition for the impact they have had on society globally although I do worry that along with the status there will be restrictions on scientific development at the sites. I don't think it would be good to stop these sites from producing future scientific discoveries as a result of the status. Having said that, the Lovell Telescope does already have listed status and was still upgraded back in 2001-2.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 25th Jan 2008 (12:05 GMT) | Permalink
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