Sunday, November 14, 2010


The NSF recently announced awards for a new program: Chemistry and Materials Research at the Interface between Science and Art or SCIART.

This program is co-sponsored with the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to “to enhance opportunities for collaborative activities between conservation scientists and chemists and materials scientists to address grand challenges in the field of science of cultural heritage.”

The original call for proposals focused on four areas:

a) develop new and improved analytical techniques and instruments with high sensitivity and spatial resolution (large and small scale) for restricted volume and/or standoff detection of component materials, degradation products and deterioration markers and which are suitable for non-destructive analysis of cultural heritage objects; b) study dynamic changes leading to degradation of cultural heritage objects; c) design new multi-functional treatment materials for cultural heritage objects; d) develop new theoretical models to predict dynamic processes in cultural heritage objects that lead to their degradation while taking into account their molecular and materials properties and their surface and bulk interactions with environmental perimeters.

While many of these topics may focus on conservation, several of these directions will also aid in many regions of archaeological science, specifically in chemical analysis and materials science. I am particularly interested to see the results of new instrumentation and understanding dynamic changes in materials. The complete list of the awards is listed here.

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