Thanks to the almost insatiable public appetite for murder and mysteries, the profile of forensic anthropology has morphed almost beyond recognition in recent years. But what is the truth behind the hype?
Forensic anthropology has an extensive global profile thanks to both the factual and fictional portrayal of the discipline. However, the more popular media presentations often misrepresent or inaccurately portray the role of the forensic anthropologist in relation to both criminal investigations and humanitarian operations. This panel will examine the real role that forensic anthropologists have played and continue to play in the criminal investigative processes via interaction with law enforcement agencies and the judiciary both in the UK and overseas. It will then explore the more recent impact of the profession on mass fatality events including natural disasters, terrorist incidents, war crimes and abuses of human rights. The societal impact of the subject will be explored at a local, national and international level and its influence on operational and policy decisions will be considered. The future for this small component of the world of anthropology will be discussed as the disicpline stands on the threshold of legislative regulation. Participants will be drawn from different fields of experience and expertise to construct the real history and current profile of forensic anthropology on the global stage.