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World Heritage: Science and Technology. An Expert Workshop in the Framework of the Global Strategy for a Balanced and Representative World Heritage List

21-23 January 2008

The outcome of this meeting shall contribute to the development of guidelines and criteria for the review of sites of interest for the heritage of science and technology on the World Heritage List.

The pursuit and application of knowledge underlie all human achievements, many of which have been recognised on the World Heritage List, as for example agriculture systems, industrialisation and achievements of architecture. One of the areas relating to science and knowledge, which are under-represented on the World Heritage List, is the natural sciences (physical sciences including astronomy and chemistry, and biological sciences) and the development of their application through engineering and technology.

At the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee (Christchurch, New Zealand 2007) the State Party of the United Kingdom suggested that it would be beneficial to further explore the opportunities, issues and additional guidance necessary to achieve the Committee's aims in recognising and celebrating achievements of science on the World Heritage List. It was suggested that a useful initial stage would be to hold an international expert meeting on the interpretation of science heritage in the context of the 1972 Convention from the scientific community and World Heritage specialists. The Committee (Decision 31 COM 9) accepted the offer of the United Kingdom to host an expert meeting on the recognition of the heritage of science and technology in the World Heritage Convention.

The main objectives of the meeting are:

  1. Assess and examine the interpretation of scientific heritage in the context of the World Heritage Convention (1972) with particular focus on four scientific areas: astronomy, physical sciences, biological sciences, and the engineering & technology necessary to put the results of work in these areas into practice;
  2. Identify the opportunities to celebrate places of Outstanding Universal Value because of their role in these areas or as landmarks of scientific achievement, and inscribe them on the World Heritage List;
  3. Develop guiding principles for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session for the nomination and evaluation of sites which represent milestones and achievements in science and technology and are of Outstanding Universal Value;
  4. Recommend a framework for the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS and IUCN) working with the World Heritage Centre to implement future thematic studies in this area;
  5. Recommend to the 32nd Session of the World Heritage Committee potential additions to Annex 3 of the Operational Guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention taking into account the final recommendations and proposals of the expert meeting.

The working languages of the meeting are French and English. There will be an interpretation service in both languages.

The meeting is organized under the auspices of UNESCO by:

For further information, please contact one of the following:



By invitation only.


Monday, 21 January 2008
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

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London, UK