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Understanding capacity in the heritage science sector

Front cover for NHSS Report 3 - Understanding capacity in the heritage science sector

This is the last of three reports which provide the evidence base for this strategy. It covers issues of capacity in UK heritage science for three sub-sectors: movable heritage (museums,galleries, libraries and archives); built historic environment; and archaeology. The formulation of a strategy is one of the recommendations to come from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into science and heritage held in 2006.

It reviews the numbers of heritage scientists working and considers what they do and where they work. Gaps in capacity, where demand exceeds current provision are explored along with arrangements for funding and training.

Suggestions for improvements are identified within three general themes:

  • addressing practitioner capacity and capability;
  • accessing information and infrastructure;
  • and funding and its public benefit.


  • 1 Introduction
  •    1.1 Background
  •    1.2 Structure of report
  •    1.3 Sources and methods
  • 2 Who are the heritage scientists and what do they do?
  •    2.1 Movable heritage scientists
  •    2.2 Built historic environment scientists
  •    2.3 Archaeological scientists
  • 3 Assessing current capacity
  •    3.1 Where are the shortages?
  •    3.2 To what extent does equipment availability impact on current capacity and capability?
  •    3.3 Current funding
  •    3.4 Training routes into heritage science and availability of courses
  • 4 Improving future capacity
  •    4.1 Theme 7 –Addressing practitioner capacity and capability
  •    4.2 Theme 8 –Accessing information and infrastructure
  •    4.3 Theme 9 –Funding and its public benefit
  • 5 Conclusions
  •    5.1 Commenting on this report
  • 6 References
  • Appendix 1 List of steering group members
  • Appendix 2 Themes from reports 1 & 2

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed


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