Yesterday was the day of the On the Front Line Conference, spectacularly organised by the wonderful Forensic Outreach, a company that specialises in inspiring young people to take an interest in forensic science and pursue careers in forensic science. This was open to school leavers, interested lay people, crime writers and others keen to find out more about diverse subjects within forensic science such as ballistics and gun shot residue, the use of jewellery in forensic identification, the psychology behind lone terrorists, and the transfer of DNA.
I was there to present the research the Forensic Anthropology Group at Huddersfield have been doing on identifying the gases given off by bodies as they decompose, more catchily known as the 'Scent of Death'. In order to create an interactive element to the presentation, I spent (aided by Michaela Reagan from UCL) 3 hours before the talk spraying 'perfume' sticks with diluted chemicals isolated from the decomposition process. Audience members got to sniff the sticks from zip lock bags at opportune moments during the talk.
|This is from the Forensic Outreach instagram page, showing me preparing the sticks before the talk|
|The view from up in the 'Gods' of the Faraday Lecture Theatre|
|Starting off the smelling process!|
|Grappling with the microphone|
I was very grateful to Forensic Outreach for inviting me to present in this iconic venue, and I hope that one day, I might be doing the Christmas lectures there!