Conservation Science Platform

On 19/20 June 2018, the conference "quo vadis conservation science" took place in Berlin. It was hosted by the German Federal Foundation for the Environment (DBU), supported by the German National Committee for Monument Conservation (DNK) and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The program of the event can be found on the website of the DBU. A transcript of the event can be found here.

One of the aims of the conference was to discuss the possibilities and the need for a stronger networking of the conservation science community in Germany. Together they came to the conclusion that this is very desirable. Therefore, a follow-up event took place in Würzburg on 13.09.2018. As a result, the foundation of a Conservation Science Platform was suggested. Dr. Paul Bellendorf was elected as speaker. 

Several working groups were initiated among the participants:

  • Policy
  • Research, teaching and mediation
  • Freelancers
  • Museums und archives
  • Heritage conservators

The goal of the platform is to improve networking among the German conservation science community and to increase visibility to policy makers, funding agencies, and the public.


As a first step, a newsletter has been set up to network the participants of the conservation science platform. If you are interested in the activities of the platform, you can subscribe to the newsletter informally via e-mail to plattform.konswiss(at) This e-mail address is also available for all further inquiries concerning the platform conservation science.  

Appeal: Future needs home - research program for the preservation of cultural heritage

A large part of the participants of the conference "quo vadis conservation science" have jointly developed and signed the following appeal entitled "Future needs home - research program for the preservation of cultural heritage". The appeal is available here(173.3 KB, 3 pages), along with a list of signatories, as a PDF:

Cultural heritage1 creates identity. It is an indispensable backbone and intergenerational storehouse of knowledge for all. Our cultural heritage promotes public spirit, encourages reflection and strengthens democratic society.

Our cultural heritage is not a renewable resource. It is increasingly threatened by climate change, societal changes and increasing disengagement, conflict and natural disasters, pollution and material aging itself.

The sustainable protection of our cultural heritage is a challenge for Germany and Europe as a whole, as already decided in the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in 2015.

In times of social disintegration, the European Year of Cultural Heritage reflects a new dimension of sharing. Cultural heritage preservation research is a powerful tool for cohesion. Facing the current challenges of global migration, digital transformation with its advantages and disadvantages, it contributes to understanding and integration. Transdisciplinary research on cultural heritage preservation must be recognized and implemented as a national task.

There has been no national research program on cultural heritage preservation for over 20 years: Germany, a cultural and economic nation, must once again become a pioneer in Europe in research on cultural heritage preservation. Sustainable research strengthens the scientific and economic competitiveness of Germany as a location for innovation. It contributes to general education, participation, inclusion and integration.

Research on the preservation of cultural heritage is based on cultural, natural and social sciences and is also supported by educational institutions, business enterprises and citizen participation.

Research questions include:

  • how can the impacts of climate change be quantified?
  • how can threats to cultural heritage be better assessed and reduced?
  • what is a good museum climate?
  • who owns cultural heritage today and tomorrow?
  • how do we measure the economic importance of cultural heritage?
  • how do we harness the potential of the 4th Industrial Revolution?

We therefore call for:

  • a 15-year national research framework program for the preservation of cultural heritage amounting to EUR 1.3 billion [equivalent to 1 euro per citizen per year]
  • a separate unit for research on cultural heritage preservation in the BMBF
  • a national, transdisciplinary platform for research on cultural heritage preservation.

1 "Cultural heritage is composed of a set of resources inherited from the past that people identify as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge, and traditions, regardless of ownership. It encompasses all aspects of the environment that result from the interaction between people and places over time." Faro Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage 2005.