The Role of Heritage Science in Conservation Philosophy and Practice

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For many years the relationship between science and conservation has been growing. Scientific research to understand historic materials and inform evidence-led conservation practices is increasingly seen as an important step towards ensuring positive long-term outcomes for cultural property. ‘Heritage Science’ is emerging as a discipline within its own right. The development of heritage science with specific reference to its application to building conservation is considered. The role of science within building conservation philosophy and practice is discussed, and barriers to effective evidence-led conservation identified. A set of seven recommendations for heritage science applied to building conservation are proposed. It is expected that these recommendations, if implemented, will help to balance the needs of heritage practitioners whose work aligns with conservation philosophy, and scientists who require the ability to gather meaningful data from historic buildings and sites. This is intended to encourage and enhance collaboration between scientists and practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-228
Number of pages15
JournalHistoric Environment: Policy and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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