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Anupriya Bedi Jun 12 2014

Must See Place for Science Geeks

Debangana Sen Jun 12 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Pick up your travelling gear and get ready for oodles of geek-centric fun! We bring you the 12 must see places in the world for science geeks!

1. CERN, Geneva


Also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Located in Switzerland, it is the birthplace of the world wide web and home to the Large Hadron Collider.


Photo of the Large Hadron Collider (by Image Editor)

What to see: The Large Hadron Collider! Apart from being the largest scientific instrument ever built, it is also the highest particle accelerator in the world. India is one of the 5 countries to have observer status at CERN.


2. Silicon Valley, San Francisco


The birthplace of the semiconductor and tech giants, this place offers special nerd tours. Definitely one of the must see places in the world for science geeks.


Photo of Apple Headquarters at Silicon Valley (by Joe Ravi)

What to see: Check out where it all started for Apple and Steve Jobs, the historic garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard created their first product, the Google campus and the Computer History Museum.


3. Kennedy Space Centre, Florida


The famous launch site for all NASA space flights, Kennedy Space Centre is a mecca for space geeks.


Photo of Atlantis at the Launch Pad (by Undertow851)

What to see: Space Shuttle Atlantis, Saturn V Centre. The Shuttle Launch experience is a must try with its realistic simulation of an 8 minute ascent to orbit. You can also try out the ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) that offers realistic training by NASA experts on the rigors of spaceflight and hands on space exploration activities. For an extra cost, tours to the Vehicle Assembly Building, mission control and launch pads are also provided.


4. Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle

Space geeks have another option closer to home at the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, Ladakh. It has one of the world’s highest sites for optical, gamma ray and infrared telescopes.


Photo of the Gamma Ray Telescope (by Indiajoe)

What to see: Himalayan Chandra Telescope, an optical infrared telescope designed to work at sub-zero temperaturesand and the HAGAR (high altitude gamma ray telescope). The high visibility, ambient temperature, low moisture and low concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere, makes Hanle an excellent site for astronomical observations.


5. Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC

The world’s largest museum and research complex, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington was established in 1846, “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”, by the United States.


Photo of the Museum of Natural History (by russavia)

What to see: This is a huge complex, so touring it all in a day is impossible. Here are some of the museum must-sees.

Ground Floor: Q?rius--an interactive section that helps with connecting science with everyday life and experiences.

First Floor: The preserved giant T-rex, live corals in the Ocean Hall, the mammal section, Ice Age section, Neanderthal in Human Origins, Mud Masons of Mali in the African voices section.

Second Floor: Hope Diamond and Dom Pedro Aquamarine in the gems and minerals section, live butterflies in the Insect Zoo, mummified cat in the mummies section, and genomes located in the Special Exhibitions Gallery.


6. The Chihuly Garden & Glass, Seattle


A very colourful and vibrant exhibition in Seattle showcasing Dale Chihuly’s works that are a study in beautiful amalgamation of art and science. Everything in Chihuly Garden & Glass is made of glass.

Photo of the Persian Ceiling (from Official Website)

What to see: The Glasshouse is a must visit, which contains his largest suspended creation. The whole area consists of two more sections -- the garden and the interior exhibits, which can be easily covered in a day. You can also visit the theatre to watch behind-the-scenes operations in the videos screened here.

Tip: Visit the outdoor garden during daylight before touring the interiors, and then come out to see the lit-up sculptures by evening.


7. Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio, Trelew


One of Argentina’s main scientific centres, this museum houses fossilized remains of the flora and fauna of Patagonia.


Photo of a petrified Araucaria cone in Patagonia (by Brocken Inaglory)

So what is so different about this paleontology museum?
What to see: The museum doubles up as a research institution for vertebrate and invertebrate palaeontology, ichnology and palaeobotany. Hence, this is one of the few places where you can actually see scientists at work at the state-of-the-art preparation laboratory where the fossils are cleaned and extracted from rocks.


8. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa


The largest aquarium in the world, Okinawa Churaumi is located within the Ocean Expo Park in Okinawa, Japan.


Photo of the main tank at the aquarium (by SteFou!)

What to see: Whale sharks, manta rays, manatees, tropical fishes and the gallery of Tiny Marine Life of the Coral Reef. The nearby Tropical Dream Centre (walkway through a tropical garden full of flowers and fruit trees) and Tropical Arboreum are also worth visiting.


9. Exploratorium, San Francisco


Described as the “most important science museum established after 20th century” by the New York Times, Exploratorium is a scientific funhouse, an experimental laboratory and a mad scientist’s penny arcade, all rolled into one.

Photo of a museum gallery (from Official Website)

What to see:


Fog Bridge: Experience fog and mist on this walkway.

Oculus: An aperture in the ceiling transforms this gallery into an optical device.

Scrapple: Create live music with ordinary objects.

Tactile Dome: This is a pitch dark section that can be navigated only by touch.

Wave Organ: An acoustic sculpture that conveys the sound of the waves at different stations.


10. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore


One of the premier Indian institutes that has made significant global contributions in nuclear and space technologies, advanced computing and biological sciences, IISc in Bangalore has been associated with many distinguished Indian scientists, who have spent time at the institute as students or faculty.


Photo of the main building (by Pp391)

What to see: The main building houses the prestigious Faculty Hall and has an impressive classical architecture. The campus is reputed to be one of the most beautiful and green campuses in the country. You can also visit the state-of-the art computing facility at the Supercomputer Research Centre, or any other department of your interest, provided you have permission from an authorised personnel.


11. Glacier National Park, Montana


One of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America, the Glacier National Park is definitely one of the must see places in the world, best known for its turquoise alpine lakes, mountain goats, grizzlies and, of course, glaciers.


Photo of the ancient Hidden Lake carved out by glaciers (from Official Website)

What to see: This is an endangered ecosystem, predicted to last no more than a decade. So go see the glacial remnants while you still can. The views from the Going-to-the-Sun Road over the Continental Divide are spectacular, with each mile presenting a photo opportunity.


12. Molecular Gastronomy Classes, Paris

Molecular gastronomy is a kind of food science that investigates the physico-chemical transformations occurring in ingredients as they undergo the process of cooking. This kind of cooking takes advantage of the various technical innovations in modern science. Cook’n With Class is one of the best places in Paris where you can learn the art of scientific cooking.


Photo of a dessert called Chocolate Finale that is plated directly on the table (by Brancron)

What to see: Learn the art of cooking with science with expert chefs. You’ll be taught various imaginative dishes using sophisticated scientific techniques, like making foams out of solids like mushrooms, or creating liquid spheres that retain their shape. Cooking classes inspired by the works of French chemist and cook, Herve This (Father of Molecular Gastronomy), are currently cropping up in major cities around the world.


So these were our top picks for the 12 must see places in the world for science geeks. Let us know how you liked it. So get packing and set off on a geeky adventure, but before that, make sure you share and comment below.
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