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Subspecialties Forensics

A Forensic Deep Dive

The world of forensic science is fascinating – and vast. So, we’ve handpicked a broad selection of our forensic-based articles and interviews for you to have a nosy through. Enjoy!

A Simpler System

Jaume Ordi discusses how minimally invasive autopsies improve death investigations and health – even in settings with limited resources. “Such a process, coupled with programs to build the capacity of local pathologists, can increase our understanding of the diseases causing death in areas where this information is typically very limited.”

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The Working Stiff

We interviewed Judy Melinik, Forensic Pathologist from Wellington, New Zealand, about her experience as an expert witness, how she got into writing fiction, and if she had any advice for aspiring pathologists. “Don’t just pursue the most ambitious job you can find – be mindful of your work-life balance. Professional success should never come at the expense of your personal life. No amount of money is worth sacrificing your family or your health.”

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Is There Still Life in the UK’s First Human Taphonomy Facility?

In 2019, we heard about the launch of a new UK-based human taphonomy facility for forensic research. Four years on, where is it? Anna Williams gives us an update. “Unfortunately, forensic science seems to fall between the gaps of the remits of major government-funded research councils, and there are few funds for which we can apply. We would be reliant on an institution funding it, partial corporate sponsorship, or generous bequests from people who believe this facility would revolutionize forensic science in the UK.”

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Where the Strange Specimens Sleep

Barts Pathology Museum is home to Holmes and Watson, the skull of the man who killed a Prime Minister, and a treasure trove of centuries-old pathological specimens. Deputy Editor, George Francis Lee interviews curator Carla Valentine to find out more. “There are several pathology museums in London, but what sets Barts apart is the epidemiological value. For example, we have lots of instances of scrotal cancers from chimney sweeps, because they worked naked and carbon collected in the scrotal folds.”

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A Voice for the Dead: The Forensic Anthropologist

We sat down with Dame Sue Black, President of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, UK, to discuss her career in forensic anthropology, the H-unique program, and her book Written in Bone. “In many ways, I’ve never really chosen to be a forensic anthropologist. Each time I’ve come to a crossroads in my life, I’ve taken the route I felt most comfortable with. In my third year of university, I had to choose between the two subjects I was good at: anatomy and botany. I couldn’t face naming and drawing plants for the rest of my life, so I became an anatomist and did my research project on human skeletons.”

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About the Author
Georgia Hulme

Associate Editor for the Pathologist

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