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Scientific Research Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Scientific Research Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Specific themes for investigation/research

  • Development and application of non-invasive techniques, including chemical imaging
  • Technical studies of artist materials and techniques
  • Thermal and mechanical studies of material properties
  • Damage functions: Ageing/degradation studies; material and environmental modelling
  • Heritage science data: visualization, mining and sharing information by a broad community of users
  • Citizen science: Role of the public in scientific inquiry



The Working Group will continue to increase communication channels with our members in a variety of ways, including updates on the Facebook page, periodic emails to members, annual Newsletters and Zoom chats with focused topics.

Sustainability issues in the context of conservation science

The Working Group will engage with other ICOM-CC Working Groups about mutual interests regarding sustainability issues especially with regard to conservation methodologies and materials.

Emerging professionals

The outreach to emerging professionals has been an important component of this Working Group. We will continue to highlight topics of interest to emerging professionals, including a joint Zoom session with the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group that includes mentoring, and another Zoom session with a publications editor/organisation on how to write for peer-reviewed journals and grants.

Outreach to underrepresented groups within our field

The planned Working Group activities include Zoom chats with researchers and educators in underrepresented regions/countries (some proposed ideas include South Africa, India, Turkey, and Latin America).

In addition, possible newsletter topics about low-cost alternatives to high-cost technologies and short contributions of first-person experiences and insights will be solicited, especially from underrepresented regions/countries, smaller institutions and private practitioners.

Outreach to general public and education programs, such as integrating heritage science data with advanced visualisation/interpretation techniques (e.g., virtual reality/augmented reality, 3-d imaging) and experiences of various institutions which have implemented innovative outreach methods.

Interim Activities

The Working Group will plan for an in-person Interim Meeting in 2022. Details and partnership to be decided.

Other types of interim activities, such as Zoom chats with other Working Groups or ICOM International Committees, will be organised. Specific activities and collaborators are yet to be decided, but we have started conversations with the Wood, Furniture, and Lacquer Working Group and the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group, to name a few.

ICOM-CC Publications Online Platform Project

The Working Group will assist with gathering information for the Publications Online Platform Project related to the Working Groups’ past publications, as well as any further work required to place publications generated in this triennium.


ICOM-CC acknowledges and highly values the contributions and additional efforts required by the Working Group Coordinators towards converting the Beijing 19th Triennial Conference to a fully virtual event. Additional workloads are being carried by Coordinators from both the past and current triennia to ensure a vibrant and exciting conference.