Research and Technical Studies

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Research and Technical Studies Group (RATS)

WELCOME to the RATS Specialty Group page on the AIC WIKI. The purpose of AIC's RATS Specialty Group is to promote the advancement of scientific research in the field of conservation and to promote effective interaction of conservators and scientists in furthering the development of conservation practice. RATS fosters communication between:

  • Conservators of all disciplines
  • Scientists working in the conservation field
  • Outside scientists of various disciplines relevant to conservation

RATS content on the wiki should be of interest to all the other AIC specialty group divisions and we invite suggestions and content from colleagues throughout AIC. We aim to produce or aggregate content on the AIC wiki in four areas:

A Brief History of RATS[edit | edit source]

RATS was originally founded as a task force for AIC in 1989 to study the role of conservation science within conservation. In September 1990, the task force reported the following findings:

  • The amount of interaction between conservators and conservation scientists is too low.
  • Though quantitative data is generated in the field, statistical analysis of data is rarely applied.
  • Most researchers have no working knowledge of statistics; nor have they worked with a statistician or statistical software.
  • There is an interest in creating a short-term training course on experimental design in conservation research.
  • Color measurements are directly applicable in conservation work however few measurements are actually taken.
  • A list of consulting experts was viewed as potentially highly useful by an overwhelming number of respondents.
  • There is an interest in joining a specialty group devoted to conservation science and attending sessions devoted to it at national meetings if one was established.
  • Many felt that a separate group focusing on conservation science could address problems and issues that are not priorities for existing specialty groups.

RATS was officially recognized as a Specialty Group of AIC at the 1993 Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada. At its inception, RATS declared it focuses to be:

  • Problems and issues of conservation research
  • Technical studies of artifacts, works of art, and natural science collections

During the early years, RATS did not have sessions at the AIC Meeting but rather created a program listing the best technical papers within every other specialty group. RATS members were encouraged to attend these talks.

Original RATS logo created ca. 1998 by Tom Sain

Original RATS logo created ca. 1998 by Tom Sain

Additional Information on RATS[edit | edit source]

RATS home page on the AIC website
Listing of RATS Officers to Date