Monday 7 October 2013

'Bones' Day..

I recently was fortunate enough to host a 'Forensic Anthropology experience day' for several journalists, organised by Premier PR, to coincide with the launch of the latest season of Bones on DVD. After giving the delegates a little bit of a lecture and taste of the work of a Forensic Anthropologist based in the UK, I asked them to 'have a go' and try and answer some of the questions Forensic Anthropologists are regularly asked when confronted with potential cases brought in by the Police. They looked at an assemblage of co-mingled bones and tried to determine the minimum number of individuals present, and tried to distinguish animal from human bone, as well as archaeological specimens from more recent ones. I also gave them some examples of bone with inflicted blunt force and sharp force trauma, for them to examine; some examples of skeletal elements exhibiting different pathological conditions; and some lovely pictures of decomposed remains for them to determine post-mortem interval. We also had an interesting chat about the lighter and darker side of Forensic Anthropology, the potential for controversy, especially in research, and the ways in which the portrayal of the professional and the discipline on television is accurate or 'not so' accurate. You can read about their experiences here (Sunday Express). I had a really enjoyable day, and I hope they did too!

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Huddersfield Ahoy!

Hello there readers! Greeting from sunny (well, a bit drizzly, actually) Huddersfield! I am now properly ensconced in my new office (it has a kettle and everything), and am officially Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science in the department of Applied Sciences. You can find out all about the Forensic Science courses here, and follow what's going on via Twitter (@Huddersfielduni, @HudSAS and @HudForensics). I am enjoying the environment here - the university is very lively and busy. There is a 'proper' campus feel to it, and it has great facilities like a bookshop, bar, big cafeteria and it feels bustling and animated. The people I've met so far have been very friendly, engaging and interesting, and the students are keen! I'm already getting excited about all the projects we could do here, from 3D microscopy to hydro-taphonomy!
Here's my first view of the university - quite a refreshing change to have a canal cutting through campus!