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Subject: Report on science and heritage

Report on science and heritage

From: David Leigh <dleigh>
Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Science and Heritage
House of Lords Committee Recommends a Role for Icon

On 16 November 2006 the House of Lords Science and Technology
Committee published its report into Science and Heritage.  Baroness
Sharp of Guildford, Chairman of the Committee, said:

   "Britain was for a long time at the forefront of conservation
    techniques. This reputation was built in the mid twentieth
    century with the development of science-based conservation at
    the National Gallery and British Museum. However this key
    conservation research is now undervalued in Britain, in
    particular by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
    at the same time as our priceless cultural artefacts face not
    just the familiar threats of wear and tear, but new threats such
    as climate change."

Icon, the Institute of Conservation, gave oral evidence to the House
of Lords Committee in May 2006, and Icon and its evidence are
extensively cited in the body of the report.  The Institute of
Conservation Science, which merged with Icon soon afterwards, also
gave evidence.

The main recommendations in the report are:

    *   The UK needs a comprehensive research strategy for heritage

    *   English Heritage should be funded to run the secretariat to
        develop this strategy

    *   The Arts and Humanities Research Council should be clearly
        named as the lead body responsible for scientific research
        to do with heritage

    *   Icon should work with MLA and the national Museums and
        Galleries to end the patchy and poorly co-ordinated
        dissemination of research results to conservation

    *   Icon should be funded by the Office of Science and
        Innovation to enable us to become the focus for the
        promotion of public engagement with heritage science.

Icon has responded positively to all the report's recommendations,
and has written to English Culture Minister David Lammy MP to urge
him to accept the report's findings and follow them up with action.
Other letters of support are being sent into the Minister from Icon
Board members, Group Chairs and a wide range of organisations in the
conservation community.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded at
<URL:> <URL:>

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:31
                Distributed: Saturday, December 9, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-31-014
Received on Tuesday, 5 December, 2006

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