Heritage science is the interdisciplinary research domain of scientific study of cultural and natural heritage.
Drawing on diverse humanities, sciences and engineering disciplines, heritage science is an umbrella term encompassing all forms of scientific inquiry into human works, and the combined works of nature and humans, that are of value to people.
Heritage science focuses on enhancing the understanding, care, sustainable use and management of tangible and intangible heritage so it can enrich people’s lives: both today and in the future.
The heritage science sector has expanded rapidly in recent years. The number of related scientific publications produced annually has increased dramatically compared to 20 years ago, with over one-third of these resulting from international collaborations. However, key issues remain. These include:
- Strengthening the professional identity of this emerging sector
- Improving evidence-based strategies to better link research to needs
- Bolstering stakeholder participation
- Enhancing and evidencing impact.
In response, ICCROM monitors and shares new scientific knowledge, gathers data on the heritage science sector to understand its capacity and activity, and supports evidence-based strategies and policy development for heritage science. By tracking developments and highlighting key issues, ICCROM looks to stimulate analysis and debate with the goal of improving the sector’s ability to address current needs and future challenges.