My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

Heritage Science in Scotland

Heritage science is science for access to cultural heritage and for its conservation, interpretation, research and management

The ‘Heritage Science in Scotland‘ conference was organised on Tuesday by Historic Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish government, “charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment”. Although I am not working in Scotland, as we are working in the field in the UK we were invited to attend.

The conference started off with an opening address by Prof Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland. She quite forcefully made the point about how strong Scotland is in science, and I think she also opened my mind to opportunities which exist in Scotland as regards science. Definitely a proud Scottish scientist, which I guess is what her work revolves around.

The other presentations were more intrinsically linked to the issue of heritage science. There seemed to me to be a lot of work going on concerning stone and inorganic materials. However this seems to be the situation everywhere, so wasn’t too surprised.

I was particularly excited about two presentations, one about a project I have heard about, and one which I hadn’t.  The first presentation was by Lorraine Gibson talking about the new AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage programme supported grant ‘Heritage Smells‘.

The other presentation was by Chris Hall, on Moisture Dynamics in Building Conservation. It might not have been the most impressive work, but I liked the simple way it was presented. Even though I have no background in the subject, I could easily follow, formulate questions, and the questions I formulated were answered. It was a well-structured presentation.

I must admit that my knowledge of what is going on in Scotland was quite limited; I am only just getting to grips with what is going on in London! It was very enlightening hearing from such an enthusiastic community of heritage scientists and to learn about what they are working on.

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