The Science and Innovation Grand Tour11th January 2012 | by Grace Clarke, One and Other
Reproduced by kind permission of One and Other
In 2008 we saw “The Grand Tour” a three month festival displaying classic works of art in unusual places around the city. This May, as part of the York 800 celebrations Professor Anthony Robards brings us the follow up, “The York Science and Innovation Grand Tour”, a marking of all of the greatness we’re capable of. It is set to be a real celebration of how the innovative people of York have changed the world we live in, and how they continue to do so. It’s about pushing the boundaries, bringing Science and Technology to the everyman, in an accessible and enjoyable manner. Not only will this festival celebrate this city’s rich history in science, technology and innovation, it also has the potential to inspire this generation to push the boundaries and to strive to make a difference of their own.
Professor Anthony Robards, the creator of the events told us “York’s amazing strength and reputation in science and technology is helping to transform the economy in and around the City. My intention, in proposing this unique event, was to bring some of the outstanding achievements made by people from York to the attention of both the local population and visitors. From May this year, more than 50 stunning images displayed around the centre of the City will help to reinforce York’s position as a leading international centre for science, technology and innovation, with all that means for jobs, quality of life and economic development.”
Many of us are possibly unaware of the Scientific breakthroughs that have come from York, I know I was. Doctor John Snow, who was recently voted the greatest doctor to have ever lived, was born here in 1813. He was a pioneer in the fields of anaesthesia and the practice of good medical hygiene. John Goodricke born here in 1764, despite being deaf and unable to speak, developed one of the main methods for measuring the size of our universe at his home, The Treasurers House. All before the age of 21. William Parsons, 1800 – 1867, was the first to discover that galaxies existed outside of our own as well as building a 72 inch telescope in 1845. Which was considered the largest in the world until the early 20th century. And, more recently, in 2010 researchers at York District Hospital found that jelly fish cells can be used to diagnose cancer. With The York Science Park at York University offering facilities for new businesses and research projects, we can expect to see many more developments of the same ilk.
There are already a number of sponsors involved with the event, including Yorkshire Cancer Research, York St. John University, York University, SCY, and BPEM. If you’re interested in being involved either through sponsorship or by contributing creatively you can do so here on their website.
Many consider science and art to be polarised fields, impossible to combine. Many of us find Science and Technology, whilst awe-inspiring, to be incredibly daunting. Professor Anthony Robards, intends to use art to displace our collective fear of the unknown. Similarly, to 2008′s Grand Tour, up to one hundred images and messages will be displayed around the city. Each panel around the city will include a QR code which when scanned with a smart phone will provide more information about the piece, and will allow the sponsors of the event to share how they too contribute to this city’s greatness.
The three month long event starts in May of this year, we’ll keep you up to date with any developments.