Institution(s): 1. Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
In this talk I will consider how our understanding of interstellar dust can only be advanced through a combination of laboratory, theoretical and observational studies, which provide the critical framework for advancing our understanding. I will summarise what we currently know, or think we know, about the physical and compositional properties of dust and their evolution in interstellar media. Along the way I will question the utility of astronomical dust analogues and show, based on data from the laboratory, theoretical studies and from astronomical observations, that some of our prior interpretations need to be subjected to a critical re-evaluation. I will present interstellar dust modelling from a new vantage point and review ideas on the interpretation of observations within the framework of this model and its predictions for dust evolution within and between interstellar media. Finally, I will summarise some of the current outstanding issues and what we would like to learn in the future.