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Subject:

Re: another museum faces the chop

From:

britarch1 <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 14:13:07 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Gary, when I've been in companies that have "downsized", I seen a few 
successful strategies:

1. Know what is really important.

Often organisations tend to focus on what they want to be important 
rather than the real needs of the organisation. I've seen whole 
departments that everyone thought were invaluable simply axed from an 
organisation and despite their expressed importance to the running of 
the organisation, life continued bar a few minor niggles without them 
much as it did before.

Which is where I begin to struggle, because you are not discussing a 
business which has a clear profit motive. Instead, you  are talking 
about "heritage" which is a combination of social, business even politics.

So, perhaps the question you should ask in a publicly funded 
organisation is: "what specific purpose does this individual 
organisation provide that is so unique that it is a public necessity to 
keep it open?"

What social benefit is their in archaeology? Is there any?

How do you ensure the public know about this social benefit?

How does your particular organisation fit into providing this social 
benefit?

And finally - everyone singing from the same hymn sheet. United we stand 
divided we are just ritualistic remains for future generations!

Perhaps this is why this discussion is so important. In some senses, it 
doesn't really matter what consensus British Archaeologists have about 
their importance in British society, so long as there is some form of 
consensus and a clear message to the public about the importance of 
archaeology.

So why on earth is it worth saving British Archaeology when there's not 
going to be enough money even to keep open schools, hospitals, keep 
defence of this country ... MPs perks, Civil servant first class travel!!!!!

Mike

Gary Brun wrote:
> Quote: "So if you were in my shoes what would you be doing to promote the
> public value of archaeology and heritage to ensure that when the cuts come
> (as they will in the next few years) we are able to continue our efforts to
> promote knowledge, interest and education?
>
> Mike"
> --------------
>
> I'll have a go as an outsider and maybe give a very different view point
> that from those within the profession.  
> The discipline of archaeology is too fragmented and you are all splitting
> off into different ways.
> CBA, IFA, etc, etc.  Who all seem to be very protective about their patches.
>
> Reminds me of the churches with their different viewpoints on religion.  C
> of E, Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist etc.
> Yet these all believe mostly the same thing. but split off when a different
> doctrine they don't agree with or another way of doing things comes up.
>
> I have been on this list for many years now and see how many react when
> there is something new presented or something that goes against the norm.
> Hackles up. and the archeopolitical system once again  kicks in and tries to
> protect its own patches.  Archaeologists don't seem to like change and are
> quite happy with their own systems which are better than the other systems.
> (see Church parallel above)
>  
>  Archeology is also a paid discipline and as you know many can do the same
> job without being paid  (I mean amateur, retired, voluntary) which means you
> have to justify why you are worthy of being paid and what people gain from
> this.
> Many forget it's for the public that you do this. because the "heritage
> belongs to the public"
> If you get the public onside.  you then influence voters who then influence
> politicians.
>
> Take a look how PAS influenced the politicians with 1000's of people
> contacting their MP's in support of what they do.
> I would say millions of people are interested in their "heritage" yet this
> great resource of support is not tapped into by your profession.
> If it was.. You wouldn't have the crisis you are in now.
>
> This may sound a very simple solution.  but it is that what is needed is it
> not?
>
> Gary
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> On Behalf Of Mike Heyworth
> Sent: 30. september 2009 12:32
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] another museum faces the chop
>
> Gary Brun wrote:
>   
> "I am sorry people are losing jobs and museums are closing down.
> Does the IFa, CBA etc have plans in place to counter act the cuts?"
> <<
>
> Ian Daintith replied:
>   
> You're having a laugh, why should they offer any help, they're alright
> in their ivory towers, these places survive on nepotism and no-one from
> either place would be stupid enough to raise their head above the
> parapet during hard times, May'be a shot of reality wouldn't go amiss,
> some of you don't realise how easy you have it and really should come to
> Wales and try to get a job in the Heritage sector, it's like waiting for
> dead mans shoes, and even then they get handed down to someones nephew,
> neice, brother et al!!!!
> <<
>
>
> An interesting viewpoint Ian, but obviously not one that I would share.
>
> So if you were in my shoes what would you be doing to promote the public
> value of archaeology and heritage to ensure that when the cuts come (as
> they will in the next few years) we are able to continue our efforts to
> promote knowledge, interest and education?
>
> Mike
>
> ==================================================================
> Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Director, Council for British Archaeology 
> St Mary's House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ, UK  
> tel 01904 671417, fax 01904 671384, web www.britarch.ac.uk 
> A Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in England 1760254 &
> Registered Charity 287815. Join CBA/YAC at www.britarch.ac.uk/shop 
> ================================================================== 
>   

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