Holidays for the Engineering-minded

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Workshop of Dr Weiss, Sainte-Croix, Vaud, 18th November 2018

In all the colour supplements, there are many theme-based holidays. We can visit monuments and learn about ancient Greece,  the Incas, etc etc. The holiday companies seem to assume that when we visit a country or town, we want to see:

  • the old houses
  • the art galleries
  • the historical museums

These:

  • appeal only to those willing to interest themselves in the history and the arts
  • define “culture” as art or history
  • appeal mainly to adults

If there is a lecture tour or guide, it is assumed that we want to hear about the artists, the royal families, the politics and the history. All that is indeed interesting, and informs what I see. But it is limited.

So how about some maths or engineering tours? I would like to see:

  • the new construction developments: new houses
  • engineering achievements: dams, bridges, water pumping stations, power stations
  • laboratories and computing facilities

Instead of lectures on the country’s history or politics, I want to hear about its supply chains, education system, tax laws or economics, and understand how these things affect what I see.

For example, I learned from a British ex-pat living in Switzerland that the tax laws there are such that house improvements are tax deductible. He gets tax relief for the cost of re-painting the outside of his house. This makes a lot of sense, and suddenly explains why Switzerland is so neat. OK, it may be a national characteristic as well. But tax relief to re-paint your house – that would certainly help to improve the appearance of the street, wouldn’t it?

I would like to use my visit to a country to broaden my understanding of physics and maths, engineering and science, economics and law.

Why are these topics so totally absent from all of the holiday brochures?

If you are a tour company that puts on such tours, please get in touch.

 



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