Grand Tour of garish yet mesmerising science

31 May 2012 @ 6.23 pm
| Entertainment

Cell mates: one of the York Grand Tour images, found outside the Coppergate Centre. Photograph: YorkMix
Science, it turns out, looks like neon abstract art. Oddly beautiful, but not the sort of thing you’d hang in your bathroom.

That’s certainly the impression given by images dotted about our city streets as part of the York Grand Tour which launched today.

The pictures are a visual guide to this science city. Sixty in number, they tell the story of York’s contribution in many different fields, from astronomy and the science of flight to geology and, more recently, biology and information technology.

Anyone with a smartphone can download the app to get extra info on the exhibits, or scan the QR codes with each image.

The Nestle stand on York Grand Tour launch day
Co-founder of the York Science Park, Professor Tony Robards, said that the grand tour highlighted some of the amazing sights he’d seen.

“When you look at nature on both a macro scale and down a microscope, sometimes you see the most wonderfully beautiful things,” he told York University student newspaper Nouse.

“And I thought we could use some wonderful images from science and technology and that they would tell a story.”

They think it's supernova... it is now. Another grand tour image
The exhibition is aimed at two audiences, he said. “To the residents, it’s to say great things, there are jobs here for your kids, it’s helping to strengthen the economy and York wouldn’t be anything like the place it is now if it weren’t for science technology and knowledge-based businesses that are growing around the city.

“And for the visitors, we’re internationally known as a nice heritage place, bit soft maybe, we’re not a Manchester or a Birmingham, but underlying York has a real strong capability in its business, we want to show it as a business centre.”

From the bubbles in an Aero bar on Blake Street to the State Fanfare trumpets for the Queen’s jubilee made in York using quantum physics in St Leonard’s Place there is something garishly spectacular about the images.

You’ve plenty of time to make your own mind up: the grand tour continues until September.