The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has set up a Sub-Committee to examine Science and Heritage. The Sub-Committee today issued an invitation for written evidence.

The Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Baroness Sharp of Guildford, said:

"Britain is endowed with a rich cultural heritage. Science, engineering and technology, SET, can play an important role in both deepening our knowledge and understanding of that heritage while at the same time helping preserve it for future generations. 

"The purpose of our inquiry will be to examine whether we are making the best possible use of SET. In particular, we want to look at the funding of conservation science in the UK and the EU, at examples of best practice in applying new research to practical conservation, and at the ways in which IT can improve public access to and understanding of cultural objects."


The Committee aims to complete this inquiry in summer 2006, and to publish its report by early July. For the purposes of this inquiry the Committee's interpretation of the term "cultural heritage" will encompass buildings, works of art, books, manuscripts, records and archaeological relics (both on land and in water), but not townscapes or landscapes.

The Committee will accept written submissions until 13 February 2006.  A copy of the formal call for evidence is attached.

Further information (including further copies of the call for evidence) from:

Christopher Johnson, Clerk to the Select Committee: Tel: 020 7219 6075;  Email:  


Science and Heritage: Call for Evidence

The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology has appointed a Sub-Committee, chaired by Baroness Sharp of Guildford, to examine the role of science, engineering and technology in the conservation of the United Kingdom's cultural heritage* .

The inquiry will look at the use of science in monitoring the condition of buildings and objects of cultural importance, at the application of scientific and engineering techniques to conservation, and at the ways science and technology can enhance public understanding of and access to cultural objects. In particular, the Committee invites written evidence addressing the following questions:

Conservation science

  • How is conservation science, in the UK and internationally, co-ordinated between museums, universities and other organisations?

  • Is conservation research adequately funded, and is it directed at the right areas? Does the UK possess the capacity and skill base to maintain its cultural heritage for future generations?

  • How does the UK compare with other countries in the application of cutting-edge science and technology to monitor the condition of our cultural heritage, and to assist in its conservation?

  • Is there a satisfactory process to develop practical applications of conservation research for the market?

  • Could better use be made of conservation science to improve public engagement with and understanding of science and technology, and the part they play in our cultural heritage?

Use of information technology

  • In what ways can IT contribute to enhancing public engagement with objects of cultural importance, without compromising their conservation?

  • Is there scope for improving the use that UK galleries, museums and others make of such technology?

  • What, in the UK and internationally, are the best examples of the use of IT to improve access to and understanding of cultural objects?

*For the purposes of this inquiry, the term "cultural heritage" includes buildings, works of art, books, manuscripts, records and archaeological relics (both on land and in water), but not townscapes or landscapes.

Guidance for those submitting written evidence

The deadline for written evidence is  Monday 13 February 2006.

Submissions (which will be acknowledged) should be sent or emailed to:

Christopher Johnson
Clerk of the Science and Technology Committee
Committee Office
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW

If possible please also send your submission as an email attachment to

Telephone  020 7219 6075;    fax 020 7219 4931. 

Please ensure that you include relevant contact details. Evidence should be attributed and dated, with a note of your name and position, and should state whether it is submitted on an individual or corporate basis.

Short submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred; longer submissions should include a summary. Evidence sent as hard copy should be clearly printed on single sides of A4 paper, unstapled.  Paragraphs should be numbered.  If drawings or charts are included, they must be in black and white and of camera-ready quality.

Evidence, which should be prepared specifically for this inquiry, becomes the property of the Committee, and may be printed, published electronically or circulated by the Committee at any stage. If your evidence is not printed, it will in due course be made available to the public in the Parliamentary Record Office.

You may in addition publicise or publish your evidence yourself, but in doing so you should indicate that it was prepared for the Committee. If a submission is substantially the same as work that has already been published or disseminated for some other purpose, or is deemed not to be relevant to the inquiry, it will not be treated as formal evidence.

Personal contact details supplied to the Committee will be removed from evidence before publication and from the copy deposited in the Record Office. However, personal contact details will be retained by the Committee Office and used for specific purposes relating to the Committee's work, for instance to seek additional information or to send copies of the Committee's Report.

The Committee will invite some of those who submit written evidence to give oral evidence, usually in public at Westminster.  Public sessions will begin in October 2004. Web-casts of hearings will be broadcast on the Internet (at, and transcripts will be published, initially in uncorrected form, on the Science and Technology Committee web pages ( General information on the progress of the inquiry will also be available on this site. The Committee expects to Report in mid-2006.

This is a public call for evidence.  Please bring it to the attention of other groups and individuals who may not have received a copy direct.