General Information for the Shroud of Turin Conference

31 leading researchers from around the world (US, Italy, Spain, France, Australia, etc.) will be coming to this conference to present their latest research on the Shroud of Turin. Everyone is invited to attend this conference to learn about the Shroud of Turin. No specific education, training, or background is required to attend or benefit from the conference. Though some of the papers presented may be technical in nature, every effort will be made to communicate basic concepts to those without a technical background, so that they will be understandable to the non-technical person. The organizing committee for this conference is the Shroud Research Team in Richland, Washington. An international team have reviewed abstracts of the papers that will be presented at the conference. The conference is being sponsored by Mark Antonacci’s Test the Shroud Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri.

​Members on the organizing committee and the scientific committee are listed here.

What:

The title of the conference is the "International Conference on the Shroud of Turin" (ICST-2017). The subtitle is "Seeking Solutions to the Mysteries of the Shroud". The main mysteries include why we can see the image of a naked crucified man on the Shroud, how the image was encoded onto the cloth, when the Shroud and the image were made, how the blood got onto the cloth, and the history of the Shroud. The ultimate question is whether the Shroud of Turin could be the authentic burial cloth of Jesus. Wednesday evening (July 19, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm) is free and will include background material on the Shroud and a special invited presentation by Russ Breault from Atlanta. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (July 20 to 22) will be from 7:45 am to 8:30 pm. Thursday (July 20) will cover general topics and the history of the Shroud. Friday (July 21) will cover science and dating of the Shroud, including the C14 dating. Saturday (July 22) will cover image formation on the Shroud. The final presentation of the conference is also an invited presentation by Mark Antonacci (Test the Shroud Foundation), sponsor of the conference, to summarize the application of the presentations to future research. The 31 researchers coming to the conference will make 50 presentations for a total of 35 hours of presentations and panel discussions. Sessions will consist of PowerPoint presentations on the latest historical and scientific research on the Shroud, PowerPoint presentations on the status of evidence from a variety of viewpoints, and panel discussions at the end of the day to review and assess the merits of the day's presentations. Five minutes will be allowed after each session to allow for questions. If more time is needed for questions and discussion, this can take place during breaks (one 15-minute break each morning and afternoon), during lunch (60 minutes) or dinner (90 minutes), or in the conference room while the conference is continuing in the big room at the TRAC center. On issues where there is not agreement, an attempt has been made to have both pro and con arguments presented. Examples include whether the Shroud was invisibly repaired in the C14 sample area, whether image formation resulted from a collapse of the cloth, and whether radiation was involved in image formation and if so, what type of radiation it might have been. The organizing committee for the conference will publish papers and videos that result from the conference. Since the Shroud of Turin only goes on display in the cathedral in Turin, Italy, it will not be at the conference but a full size replica of the Shroud will be present.

Where:

The conference will be held in Tri-Cities, Washington, which consists of the communities of Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco. Tri-Cities is in the south-eastern part of the state of Washington in the USA. Tri-Cities was chosen for the conference because Richland is one of the premier research centers in the United States. The conference will be held at the large TRAC (Trade, Recreation, and Agricultural Center) center at 6600 Burden Blvd in Pasco (http://traconline.com/) in Washington (not Washington D. C.). The Holiday Inn Express hotel in Pasco is just steps from the TRAC center and the Hampton Inn is about a five-minute walk from the TRAC center. There are many other hotels in Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco but most of tem will probably be filling up at this time of year due to special events in Tri-Cities. Please sign up early at a hotel to assure yourself a room.

When:

The conference will start the evening of July19 (Wednesday) and continue throughout July 20 to 22 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) of 2017. Wednesday (July 19) will be from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (July 20 to 22) will be from 7:45 am to 9:30 pm. This conference schedule running from Wednesday evening through Saturday should allow most people who are flying in for the conference to do so on Wednesday July 19 and fly back home on Sunday July 23. This schedule should require only three normal work days – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, for most people attending the conference.

Why:

The purpose of this conference is:

  • To motivate additional research to help solve the mysteries regarding the Shroud.
  • To bring together some of the main researchers on the Shroud so that they can interact with each other to stimulate and further their research.
  • To discuss, plan, and promote future testing of the Shroud.
  • To hold the conference in a city that is a research center where new potential researchers can be challenged with the task of helping to solve the mysteries of the Shroud.

How:

All presentations at the conference will be given in English. This conference will cover all topics related to the Shroud of Turin including history, images, pollen, dating, radiation, and image formation. Papers will be selected to promote an accurate understanding of the Shroud. Papers on the Sudarium of Oviedo are also included. Mark Antonacci and Russ Breault will bring replicas of the Shroud of Turin, including Russ’s full-size replica of the Shroud. The planning committee will attempt to allot an appropriate amount of time for each presentation, with time also allowed for questions and panel discussions. The purpose of this format is to discuss the merits of the presented concepts and to develop a path forward for future research. Further details of the conference will develop as papers are submitted and reviewed. The papers and videos resulting from the conference will be made available after the conference.