As you know, I am pretty keen on science communication and public engagement. Just in time for British Science Week, I am trying my hand at citizen science, with a new project called the Dental Arcade Game.
Its aim is to improve how forensic anthropologists (and odontologists) determine age at death from dental eruption. Usually what happens is that the anthropologist will chart the erupted teeth (ones that poke out of the gum) and the extent of eruption (how far the tooth has come up to meet the bite surface) of every tooth, and compare this to reference data in the literature to come up with an age range for that set of remains. The problem is that this reference data is quite out of date, and based on very specific populations, and so the age ranges provided may not be accurate.
The aim of this project is to amass a large amount of tooth eruption data (with age, sex and ethnicity) to increase the accuracy and improve the reference data that is used to base these age estimations on.
So...if you're interested, please take part in the survey. You can make a difference to modern forensic science! You can find out more on the Dental Arcade Game website.
To keep up to date with progress, please follow @Dental_Arcade on Twitter.