Darwin's house or Blue Duck, Perth?

April 27, 2007

A day trip to Nasa's Space Centre, camping in the Amazonian rainforest or a fortnight studying geysers in Iceland sound like dream holidays for scientists. But a new website, launched by German entrepreneur Hans Hauel, aims to find out what really gets scientists excited when it comes to time out.

The scienceontour website invites scientists to share their travel and holiday tips, experiences and recommendations: "Here is the place for you to share your favourite 'little secrets' and places with other scientists.

The platform, of course, is also open to all people who don't like to walk the beaten path."

At the moment, drinking establishments such as the Red Onion in Cairo, the Blue Duck in Perth and the Golem in Kosice, Slovakia, feature more prominently on the site than cultural landmarks.

Mr Hauel said: "About two years ago my brother-in-law, who works for the European Space Agency in Paris, visited me in Berlin. He was enthusiastic about a beer garden I had opened.

"When he asked for business cards for his colleagues, I asked him if they did not have a kind of platform to share their travelling tips and secrets. He said 'no', so I started this project with a friend of mine."

Scientists who register with the website will be able to list their favourite places to visit and view the recommendations of others.

Mr Hauel said: "scienceontour.net is still a blank, clean sheet. Please lend a hand to make this platform become an attractive and reliable source of information... The tips and recommendations you supply will help make the plans surrounding our congresses and conferences as pleasant as possible."


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