SCIENTIFIC TOURISM: TOURISM IN SCIENCE OR SCIENCE IN TOURISM?

Dan Rang - Oct 17, 2011
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The term ‘Scientific Tourism’ might mean something quite different for a person who works in the area of tourism and for a common traveler.

According to our recent survey ‘scientific tourism’ has a wide range of meanings for common people. Some said it was a hiking group of scientists, exploring scientists, professionals working in other subject fields and laboratories, and others said that the term meant a self-paid astronaut on the orbit of the Earth or even tourists in general.

Even among tourism professionals different opinions about this field of tourism can be found.

The term scientific tourism appeared in literature for the first time in 1980 in the work ‘Tropical Science and Tourism’. Scientific tourism was described there as a work of explorers in country without proper technical equipment.

Mrs Pichlerova from The Centre of Scientific Tourism in Zvolen, Slovakia says that “the basis of scientific tourism is satisfying educational, cultural and leisure needs of a group of people who are interested in the same thing. The main part of scientific tourism are excursions led by experts in a specific field. Some seminars together with various audio-visual media can be included as well.”

Today many professional scientists well-known all over the world are more and more interested in scientific tourism. Their focus are modern scientific centers but not in the professional fields where they work. They study the methods and technical equipment so that they can use their new knowledge for their primary scientific discipline.

Thus sometimes physicists become biologists for a short time, doctors become astrologists or paleontologists and technicians turn to physicists. It is obvious that in this group of people we can meet students and laics as well who come because of their curiosity. Afterwards they use the acquired information in their practice.

Scientific travelers use common tourist infrastructure (hotels, catering establishments, transport, cultural performances, leisure centers) plus they use the most modern audio-visual technology for seminars and experiments.

Today scientific tourism is growing in importance and is considered the fastest developing field of tourism together with dark tourism. Among the popular scientific destinations are obviously those with “superlatives” – the largest, the fastest, the lowest…

The Largest Laboratory

The European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva called CERN is the world's largest particle physics laboratory where high-energy physics research is taking place. The organization has twenty European member states, and is currently the workplace of approximately 2,600 full-time employees, as well as some 7,931 scientists and engineers.

The Lowest Temperature

One of the lowest temperatures was measured in The Centre of Excellence in Kosice, Slovakia that The Institute of Experimental Physics SAS and Faculty of Science UPJS established. The research activities of the Institute founded in 1969 focus on condensed-matter physics, nuclear and sub nuclear physics, space physics and biophysics.

By L. Molokacova & L. Domaracka
The Technical University of Kosice, FBERG, Institute of Geotourism, Slovakia

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