A science complex which is expected to cost nearly US$8 million will be built in central Vietnam, starting this month, in an effort to encourage local science research development.
The space science complex, which will cover 3.8ha, was approved by the prime minister last year to be built on Quy Hoa beach in Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, at a cost of VND170 billion (US$7.81 million) from the state budget.
Under the plan, the complex, to be shaped like a round block with coconut trees surrounding it, will consist of three parts, including a planetarium, a science museum and an astronomical observatory.
Construction is expected to be completed late this year.
Jean – Francois Milou, who designed the nearby International Center for Interdisciplinary Science Education of the Meet Vietnam Organization, has been chosen as the science complex’s architect.
According to the French architect, the total gross area of the project is 10,000 square meters.
The planetarium and the science museum will be designed with a shared lounge, souvenir shop and cafeteria.
Hallways inside the planetarium will also be linked to the science museum.
Ho Quoc Dung, chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, expressed his hope that the complex would become an “urban area” of Southeast Asia.
“We will continue to build entertainment places connected to the planetarium, the science museum and the astronomical observatory to attract tourists,” he said. “We are also preparing to welcome scientists from all over the world to come and stay for months with their relatives.”
“The convenience of the science complex next to beautiful, quiet beaches will keep them here,” he said. “Scientists will be more and more impressed with Quy Nhon.”
One of the complex’s consultants, Professor Tran Thanh Van, chairman of the Meet Vietnam Organization, said he has mobilized his scientist friends around the world to help build villas in Quy Nhon so that scientists visiting Vietnam can stay longer, combining research with taking a vacation in the city.
“When scientists stay longer, they will have time to meet, talk and share more about their experiences in scientific research with their local counterparts and students,” the professor said.
He also added that Rolf Heuer, general director of CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research), has agreed to sponsor parts of the equipment needed for the complex’s planetarium in order to help viewers experience and learn about interesting natural phenomena.
Well-known math Professor Ngo Bao Chau also held discussions with Professor Van and other scientists to give advice on the space science complex.
“To create a real attraction and to arouse the love of exploring the universe of young people, the complex needs to have investments in the hi-tech field with robots, a multidimensional telescope and light interference stimulated in a vivid aerospace,” Prof. Chau said.
The complex planners expect the facility to contribute to making Quy Nhon a scientific and educational urban region as well as a destination and a bridge to link Vietnam’s science and education to the world’s developed countries.
“The space science complex, connected with the International Center for Interdisciplinary Science Education, will serve people of all ages,” Deputy Secretary of the Binh Dinh chapter of the Communist Youth Union said.
“It will especially focus on nurturing the younger generation’s passion for scientific research and creation by encouraging them to experiment with science.”