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UNESCO has no Links with New 7 Wonders List

07-05-2007 01:45 PM CET | Advertising, Media Consulting, Marketing Research

Press release from: BITS Pilani

Prof BR Natarajan

Prof BR Natarajan

In the case of News, one should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

In a news titled Bollywood Roots for the Taj, attributed to IANS Indo-Asian News Service and published in Khabrein.info, Mangalorean.com, Monsters and Critics.com, NewKerala.com, Daily News & Analysis (DNA), Kalinga Times, NowRunning.com, NEWSpost India etc, it is stated that UNESCO is expected to announce the new 7 wonders list July 7 in Portugal's Benfica Stadium. This gives the impression that UNESCO is closely connected with the new 7 wonders selection venture.

However as per Author(s):Press Release No. 2007-66 Source:UNESCOPRESS 20-06-2007, it is stated "In order to avoid any damaging confusion, UNESCO wishes to reaffirm that there is no link whatsoever between UNESCO’s World Heritage programme, which aims to protect world heritage, and the current campaign concerning “The New 7 Wonders of the World”.

The new 7 wonders campaign was launched in 2000 as a private initiative by Bernard Weber, the idea being to encourage citizens around the world to select seven new wonders of the world by popular vote. Although UNESCO was invited to support this project on several occasions, the Organization decided not to collaborate with Mr. Weber.

There can be no comparison between Mr Weber’s mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The list of the “7 New Wonders of the World” will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the internet and not the entire world. This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public.

Few years back, Time magazine had asked visitors to its Web site to cast their votes for the greatest men and women of the century. When the votes for the "Warriors and Statesmen" category were tallied every minute or so, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was often at the top of the list. He was also tops in the "Entertainers and Artists" category, as well as in "Leaders and Revolutionaries."

In fact, most Internet polls -where you surf to a Web site and then cast your vote with a click of the button-are good for a few laughs, but little else. Only when you can calculate the probability of any given person being sampled for a poll can you say a poll is representative of every one's opinion. Since there is no such probability function when people choose themselves to vote in an online poll, the results reflect absolutely nothing.

In the light of above, public must wake up before and after the announcement of new 7 wonders list on July 7, 2007 at Lisbon irrespective of whether Taj Mahal is in the list or not.

Looks like its time to replace the word statistics by website polls and SMS in the famous quote Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Dr BR Natarajan is Professor and Dean at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani Rajasthan which is one among the top ranking universities in India today offering degrees in Engineering, Management, Economics, Pharmacy, Sciences, Engineering Technology, Information Systems, General Studies, Finance, etc presently at Pilani, Dubai, Goa campuses and in the near future at Hyderabad campus as well as an array of work integrated learning programmes for HRD of a vast spectrum of Indian corporates.

Dr BR Natarajan
Professor & Dean
Birla Institute of Technology and Science
Pilani (Rajasthan) 333031 India
Phone 91-1596-242210
Fax 91-1596-244183
brnt@bits-pilani.ac.in

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