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“All museums are custodians of the future”, wrote Laura Watts in an insightful paper on “Future Archaeologies” in the Museum Archaeologists special issue on The Past, Present and Future of Collecting. Published in 2010, her argument intriguingly resembles many of the starting points of our Heritage Futures project. Given that heritage engages with present materiality that will remain in the future, Watts knows that heritage “is as much a matter of the future as of history”. Heritage strategies therefore contribute to imagining and indeed making the future; they are “evidence for the future, just as there is evidence of the past”. Watts is very clear as to why this is important: “it is through understanding how the future gets made that there is a possibility of making it differently”.

Where is all this leading Watts? Given that she started some years before we did, she has come further than we have at this point (in early 2017) in creating futures. Intriguingly, although working from a different academic base in Science and Technology Studies, her work has strong links not only to archaeology, human geography and ethnography but also to applications in the Energy sector. Read more about “A Future Archaeology of the Mobile Telecoms Industry”, “Travel Guide to the Futures”, “Invisible Work in Marine Energy” and other interesting topics on Laura Watt’s Homepage. Will we be able to get her and our futures to merge?

Cornelius Holtorf