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The winner of the 2019 photo competition has been announced!

The ICON Heritage Science committee are happy to announce the winner of the 2019 ICON Heritage Science photo competition winner. Entrants were encouraged to submit photos which showcase heritage science in relation to conservation. The winning image was submitted by Stephanie Whitehead, conservator at Historic St Mary’s City. It shows Stephanie teaching a student how to identify diagnostic archaeological nails through x-radiography. Congratulations Stephanie and thank you to everyone who entered the competition.



Two vacancies for the HSG Committee

Two vacancies are arising in the Committee as of the AGM in June.  One is specifically for a Student Representative, so nominees must be currently a student, while the other vacancy has no restrictions. All nominees should be fully paid-up members of Icon and either primary or secondary members of the Heritage Science Group. Nominees will be invited to provide a written statement of up to 200 words to accompany the subsequent ballot form.  Ballot results will be announced at the Group AGM on 26th June at UCL.

If you would like to apply for either of these two vacancies please email Ian Gibbby Friday 24th May



Launch of HSG Photo competition

The Icon Heritage Science Group are excited to announce that they will be running a photo competition in 2019. Entrants are encouraged to submit photos which showcase heritage science in relation to conservation. Entries can be made by tweeting the photo to @Iconsci, including #photocomp and #iconsci within the tweet. The competition will open on the 26 th April 2019 and the closing date for all entries is the 31 st May 2019. Winners will be announced at the ICON Heritage Science Group AGM on the 26 th June 2019. First place and runners up will receive a voucher and will see their image displayed across various Icon outlets.



OPPORTUNITY- Heritage Science Research Assistant 

Historic Royal Palaces are looking for a individual to be involved with the conservation science operations and research projects that support the Conservation and Collection Management department’s annual and longer-term programme of scientific investigations and research.  For more information please follow this link.



CALL FOR PAPERS - The British Museum Mellon Symposium "Recent advances in the conservation and scientific investigation of Wall Paintings"

The Scientific Research Department of the British Museum is inviting contributions for the 2019 one-day symposium on the recent advances in the conservation and scientific investigation of wall paintings. The symposium is free of charge and supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It will take place on 30th May 2019 at The British Museum. 

For further details on submission criteria and how to submit an abstract please follow this link.

The deadline for submission is 31st January 2019.



OPPORTUNITY- Heritage Science Scholarship 

Historic Royal Palaces is funding a scholarship, which is open to candidates accepted onto the UCL MRes in Science and Engineering in Art, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA). For more information please click here.



New HSG Social Media Officer

Following the resignation of our Social Media Officer, the Committee has co-opted Hayley Simon, the runner-up in our recent ballot, to take up the post.
Our thanks go to Paula Moore for her outstanding work establishing the role, and to Hayley for agreeing to keep the momentum going.



Results of Heritage Science Group elections

The result of the ballot for the vacancy on the Committee was announced last week at our AGM. I'm pleased to say that Lucia Pereida-Pardo was elected in a close contest. Congratulations to Lucia, and many thanks to the other three candidates for taking part. Thanks also to the members who took the time to read the statements and cast their votes.



We need your expertise! - Ethical Sampling Guidelines Consultation

The Heritage Science Group has drawn up draft guidelines on the subject of Ethical Sampling in conservation, following a workshop organised recently. We would like to open this to consultation with the wider Icon membership before finalising the document. Please follow the link to add your comments. Thank you for your time and expertise



Committee Vacancy - Icon Heritage Science Group 

A vacancy has arisen on the Committee, which we would like to fill with a current student member. It is hoped this new member could help our Event Coordinator in organising events. Can I ask for nominations for this post by email by Friday 25th May. All nominees should be fully paid-up members of Icon and either primary or secondary members of the Heritage Science Group. Nominees will be invited to provide a written statement of up to 200 words to accompany the subsequent ballot form. Ballot results will be announced at the Group AGM on 27th June at UCL.



Rathgen Heritage Science Scholarship 2018

The Rathgen Research Laboratory is the leading institution for conservation science, art technology and archaeometry at the National Museums in Berlin. It carries out investigations on a broad variety of materials within the museum environment and focuses its research on scientific issues concerning the care of monuments and archaeological sites.

It carries forward the tradition of the world´s oldest scientific museum laboratory, the Chemical Laboratory of the Royal Museums in Berlin, which was founded on April 1st, 1888 and bears the name of its first director, Friedrich Rathgen.

It is the mission of the Friends of Rathgen (Förderkreis des Rathgen-Forschungslabors e.V.) to support the work of the Rathgen Research Laboratory in various ways, among others by supporting research projects of young professionals in heritage science.

To this end, the Rathgen Heritage Science Scholarships have been established in 2009 and are awarded annually. The Rathgen Heritage Science Scholarship enables young professionals to undertake a project at the laboratory within a 1-3 month duration. The topic is proposed by the applicant. Successful applicants will receive a scholarship for Post-Graduate Scholarship of EUR 900 month and Post-doc Scholarship EUR 1200 per month.

Deadline for 2018 applications is February 23rd, 2018. For more information please visit their website.



New Social Media Officer

The Heritage science group committee are pleased to welcomed Paula Moore to the committee as our  first Social Media Officer. Paula currently delivers the social media content for West Dean College, part of the Edward James Foundation, founded by the legendary patron and collector of surrealist artist, Edward James. Paula has an extensive background in broadcast media, digital innovation labs and higher education. She has always worked in the creative sector and is committed to #artsforall #artsmatter #heritagematters #craftmatters and supports the work of conservators with independent photography that changes 'dusty perceptions' to drive new engagement with this important work.

We thank Davina Kuh Jakobi for being a worthy contender in the recruitment process and also thank all of those who voted for their participation.




Developing Ethical sampling guidance - Your views needed

Decisions for sampling heritage objects or sites for scientific investigation should be framed by balanced and consistent considerations of professional ethics for conservation, curation and academic research. Sometime these can be unclear or subjective, so the Icon Heritage Science Group (HSG) committee is developing guidance for ethical sampling, coordinated by Dr Anita Quye and Professor Matija Strlič. All Icon members and other interested parties are invited to participate in an on-line survey to gather views. The survey closes on 31 October 2017.

Survey responses will be used in workshops with invited participants to identify and discuss key factors and common ground for ethical sampling decisions. The outcomes will inform general guidelines for ethical sampling in heritage science as a guiding principle within the broader context of international research practice for heritage science. The development of domain guidelines and best practice documents is a new activity started by the Icon Heritage Science Group in 2017.



Carbon dating reveals Bakhshali manuscript is centuries older than scholars believed 

The Bakhshali manuscript, an early Indian mathematical treatise housed at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, has for the first time been radiocarbon dated. The results reveal that this very rare birch bark manuscript dates from more than four centuries earlier than scholars previously believed. Previous dating of this ancient mathematical record had been estimated based on the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content. ​​

You can read the full report by David Howell, Head of Heritage Science at the Bodleian Libraries here

Photo credit: David Howell




Important action for Icon members  ​

The Heritage Science group committee primarily communicate with its members via Iconnect emails, sent directly to your inbox. To continue to receive Iconnect emails following the renewal of your Icon membership please do check that you still have the Heritage science group selected as a primary or secondary choice, or ticked as a group which you would like to receive emails from. To do this you will need to sign into your Icon account and click on my account on the top right of the page, from here you will be able to see your chosen groups in the edit groups section. 



Heritage Science Group Committee Member Vacancy

The HSG Committee are looking for someone to join the committee to take up a new role of Social Media Coordinator/Officer. 

If interested, please email Ian Gibb by the end of play on 18th August, together with a short paragraph describing how you might develop this role.



Results: Heritage Science Group Photo Competition 

The Icon Heritage Science Group are very pleased to announce that Laurent Cruveillier is the winner of the photo competition, for his contribution entitled Mould Between the Lines. His prize is to see his winning image on the front cover of this issue of Icon News,  and is the header image for our News section here.

The competition was launched by the Group last February to encourage members to contribute some images for use on the Group’s pages of the Icon website. The entries were judged by Alison Richmond, Icon’s CEO, and Eleanor Schofield, an Icon Heritage Science Group Committee Member. Eleanor Schofield said ‘We had a great response,
with a wide variety of entries capturing what heritage science means to them. We felt Laurent's entry not only did this but was also visually very appealing’.

Laurent explained his image, saying: Mould between the lines is one of about two hundred pictures under UV fluorescence I took to get a better understanding of the objects I was trusted with for my MA Conservation final project at Camberwell College. ‘Together with a thorough analytic observation, a series of different tests using FTIR, phloroglucinol, bathophenanthroline, potassium iodine, microscopical pigment, fibre and mould analysis... they gave me a better understanding of the objects and helped me to devise an ethical, minimal, respectful and efficient treatment protocol. ‘I was going from one thrilling forensic discovery to another! In this case, assembling the images revealed the mould infestation pattern: it followed Rorschach test-like shapes along former fold lines. Together with the historic context in which the objects were produced, lived and are used today, and a methodical approach to treatment testing, a scientific view on my objects was pivotal in the decision-making process. I am very grateful for the conservation scientific knowledge and attitude that my course gave me.’

Look out for Laurent’s photo in the forthcoming issue of Icon News. 



Heritage Science Group would like your Feedback

The Heritage Science Group is interested in the feedback of Heritage Science Group members, but also Icon members more broadly, on its activities. In addition, any suggestions that you might have about the Group, and any view you might be willing to share about the field of heritage science more generally, would be highly welcome.

Please share your views by following this link.

The survey will take about 10 minutes of your time, for which we are truly grateful. Your responses will help us shape the life of the Group and of the field.

 Thank you.