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The Royal Anthropological Institute in association with the Centre for Environment & Society, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

Forensic anthropology in the UK – past, present and future
Public Lecture by Professor Dame Sue Black

Tuesday 22 October 2019 at 6.30pm followed by a drinks reception.

JHB Main Lecture Theatre (John Henry Brookes Building), Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Oxford OX3 0BP

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://sueblack.eventbrite.co.uk

Forensic anthropology is the study of the human, or what remains of the human, for medico-legal purposes. Whilst its academic pedigree lies in the ancient and distinguished fields of both anthropology and anatomy, as a recognised subject it did not enter into the UK judicial lexicon until the last quarter of the 20th Century. This presentation will discuss the first recorded UK cases where anatomical or anthropological (as opposed to medical) experts were consulted by the police to assist with their criminal investigations and it will consider the possible reasons behind the rise in prominence and popularity of the subject in the last 40 years. It will take us through to the modern day where the discipline has become an embedded part of the forensic team and it will show how the subject has played its part in national and international mass fatality events.  The purpose of the forensic anthropologist is not to determine the cause or the manner of the death, but to assist in the process of identification as to first whether the remains are indeed human, whether they are recent or archaeological and finally to assist in the process of determining the identity of the deceased.

Prof Dame Sue Black is President of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University. As an academic, Sue is best known as an anatomist and a forensic anthropologist. She was the lead forensic anthropologist for the UK response to investigation of the war crimes in Kosovo and has also served in Sierra Leone, Grenada, Iraq and in Thailand following the Asian tsunami. She has been awarded two police commendations for her work and was awarded the Lucy Mair medal for humanitarian assistance. She was awarded an OBE in 2001 for her work in war crimes investigations in Kosovo and in 2016 she was awarded a DBE for her services to education and forensic anthropology. She is a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Biology and she is the lifetime professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy. Her memoir, All That Remains, is a Times best selling non-fiction text and this year she won the coveted Saltire book of the year award.

The lecture will be livestreamed and can be viewed here https://lecturecapture.brookes.ac.uk/Mediasite/Play/d2773906d0224e9095e0e6fd5ff40a191d

Location: JHB Main Lecture Theatre
John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus, Oxford, OX3 0BP