GDP wants to make the educational work of planetariums more visible: Now, knowledge transfer in planetariums has been included in the State Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in North Rhine-Westphalia and is a candidate for the nationwide UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
The nationwide Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory recognizes cultural expressions in Germany. The German UNESCO Commission and other government agencies decide on the candidates in a multi-stage process. The Gesellschaft Deutschsprachiger Planetarien e.V. (GDP) has submitted an application for the activities of planetariums as an intangible cultural heritage – with success: the “communication of the scientific, in particular astronomical, view of the world in planetariums” has now been included in the state list of North Rhine-Westphalia. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has proposed the work of planetariums as a “good practice example” for inclusion in the national list of intangible cultural heritage. A decision on inclusion in the national list will be made in spring 2023 at the latest.
Appreciation of the educational work of planetariums
The reason given by the independent state jury: Planetariums are of the utmost importance in conveying knowledge about the universe and nature to children and young people. At the same time, they encourage reflection on issues of sustainability and the finite nature of resources. “The entry at the state level and the nomination for the nationwide Intangible Cultural Heritage is a great tribute to the work of all scientists and volunteers in the local planetariums,” says Dr. Björn Voss, president of the GDP. “The first step towards becoming a ‘World Heritage Planetarium’ has been taken!”
100 years of planetarium
The inclusion in the North Rhine-Westphalia state list comes just in time, because in 2023 the GDP, together with the International Planetarium Society (IPS) and support from the Carl Zeiss Foundation, will celebrate a special anniversary: the planetarium will be 100 years old. Many activities are planned in this context from 2023 to 2025: Among others, a planetarium show about the history of the planetarium, a (traveling) exhibition, a book project, an opening event in the fall of 2023, and an international highlight event in May 2025. The “100 Years of the Planetarium” anniversary will draw attention to planetariums worldwide and celebrate and bring to life the planetarium experience.
About the GDP
The Gesellschaft Deutschsprachiger Planetarien e.V. (GDP) is an association of planetariums, their employees, and people interested in planetariums, mainly from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but also from other countries, with the goal of promoting cooperation among planetariums in the German-speaking world. The society was founded in May 2011 and is recognized as a non-profit organization.