Conservation is Not Neutral: Emotion and Bias in our Work
February 2021 (date TBD)
Traditional models of conservation have taught us to attempt to maintain scientific objectivity at all times. However, in reality what has historically been called “objectivity” is actually just the continuation of the majority perspective, which was enshrined as ‘objective fact’ by scientific theories that went hand in hand with colonial subjugation of non-white people. As our job is to aid in the preservation of history, perhaps we should not try to eliminate feelings from our handling of emotionally significant artifacts, even when those artifacts do not emotionally resonate with us personally. This session will explore the principle of neutrality in conservation and discuss how bias contributes to inequity in our field.