Events Calendar

Presidential Address - Sue Black
Tuesday 22 October 2019, 06:30pm - 08:30pm
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Forensic anthropology in the UK – past, present and future

Presidential Address by Prof Dame Sue Black

Tuesday 22 October 2019 at 6.30pm

JHB Main Lecture Theatre (John Henry Brookes Building), Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Oxford OX3 0BP

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to

Forensic anthropology is the study of the human, or what remains of the human, for medico-legal purposes.  Whilst its academic pedigree lies in the ancient and distinguished fields of both anthropology and anatomy, as a recognised subject it did not enter into the UK judicial lexicon until the last quarter of the 20th Century.  This presentation will discuss the first recorded UK cases where anatomical (as opposed to medical) experts were consulted by the police to assist with their criminal investigations and it will consider the possible reasons behind the rise in prominence and popularity of the subject in the last 40 years.  We will examine the role that the Royal Anthropological Institute has played in the professionalism of the discipline and we will look to the future to establish how it may continue to flourish and play its role in assisting justice both nationally and internationally.

Prof Dame Sue Black is President of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University. As an academic, Sue Black  is best known as an anatomist and a forensic anthropologist.  She was the lead forensic anthropologist for the UK response to investigation of the war crimes in Kosovo and has also served in Sierra Leone, Grenada, Iraq in Thailand following the Asian tsunami. She has been awarded two police commendations for her work in helping to secure convictions against perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Sue was awarded an OBE in 2001 for her work in war crimes investigations in Kosovo and in 2016 she was awarded a DBE for her services to education and forensic anthropology. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Society of Biology and she is the lifetime professor of Anatomy for the Royal Scottish Academy. 

Location: JHB Main Lecture Theatre
John Henry Brookes Building
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus