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Historic Scotland hosts groundbreaking seminar at Science Festival

30 August 2012

Qurneh Coffin

A seminar hosted by Historic Scotland as part of this year’s British Science Festival will break new ground by expanding its programme to encompass an eclectic range of heritage-linked topics, including a study of plastics degradation in 1960s pop art and ancient ships.

This is the first time the agency has presented speakers specialising in subjects beyond the historic built environment. The event next week in Aberdeen aims to demonstrate the productive work carried out between heritage institutions, specialist university research groups, scientists, archaeologists, museums and conservators.

Titled “Science and Heritage: Bringing the Past to Life”, the seminar has three main themes – using science to understand the past, the science of historic structures, and science and the museum.

Amongst the topics being discussed are “Gazing into the past through the curious crystalline eyes of trilobites”, “How dry is dry – saving a ship out of water, Brunel’s SS Great Britain”, and “Zapping the collections – X-ray based techniques in museum science”.

Commented Historic Scotland’s Senior Conservation Scientist, Craig Kennedy: “We’ve put together a fascinating range of speakers reflecting diverse subjects, which we hope will appeal to a wide audience.

“Our speakers are at the forefront of specialist knowledge in their fields, and include academics from universities in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and York, as well as a museum display expert from English Heritage.

“I will also be addressing the seminar on the subject of Historic Scotland’s Scottish Ten project, which is laser scanning and digitally documenting all five of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites, plus five others internationally.

“This closing talk on the Scottish Ten is a separate event, and free of charge.”

The Historic Scotland one-day seminar, on Wednesday, September 5th, is being held at King’s Quad 7, Aberdeen, as part of the week-long British Science Festival.

Tickets priced at £10 (£7 for students), which include lunch, are available from the Historic Scotland's Conservation website

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with ensuring that our historic environment provides a strong foundation for a successful future for Scotland. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                       Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805