Citizen Heritage Science

The Strategic Framework for Heritage Science in the UK identifies citizen heritage science as a way for more people to engage with heritage through science and technology.

Citizen science is an important way in which diverse groups of people can participate in and collaborate in research and innovation. The development of 'citizen heritage scientists' has been identified as an outcome in the Skilled & Diverse Community strand of the Strategic Framework for Heritage Science in the UK because we think that citizen science offers great possibilities for people to connect to heritage through science. The heritage science community will be stronger if there is a wider range of opportunities to be part of it and a more diverse range of people are involved.

The National Heritage Science Forum wants to establish a framework that will enable more people to run and take part in heritage-related citizen science projects.

Our first step is to collect examples of 'citizen heritage science' projects (please see the growing list below). Then we want to work with others to learn from existing projects and provide the information and support that will enable more people to run a citizen heritage science project.

  • 'How to Hack Heritage Science!' recaps a Heritage Science Hackathon that was held at UCL Here East on the 18 and 19 May 2019. 
  • Our July 2020 Members' Meeting featured an online presentation from Caroline Barrie-Smith, CITiZAN project manager. The CITiZAN project is a community-led initiative through which a network of volunteers monitors the threat of coastal erosion to foreshore and intertidal sites in England. You can hear Caroline talking about the citizen science aspects of the work help to build a more diverse community here and find out more about CITiZAN here.
  • 'Introducing Monument Monitor' is a blog post that details a collaborative research project between Historic Environment Scotland and University College London into how visitor photographs can be used for remote condition monitoring. Find out more about the project as it develops here:
  • Micro-Pasts: crowd-sourcing archaeology. A web platform that brings together a range of crowd-sourcing archaeology projects.

To tell us about your own projects, please add them to the 'padlet' column here: Skilled and diverse community padlet or send to 

In 2019 we worked with Heritage 2020 on a one hour twitter chat (21 November) on the theme of Heritage Science, and more specifically, how to encourage the growth of citizen heritage science. You can read a summary of disussions here. The chat discussed the types of heritage project that work well for citizen science engagement, how to determine the community/audience for a citizen science project, the most effective ways of getting people involved in projects, what people wanting to set up heritage-related projects can learn from citizen science projects in other fields, methods for collecting data, the pitfalls to watch out for when running a project, and where people can find existing guidance on running a citizen science project that could be adapted to heritage-related projects.