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Forum raises issue of whether the UK needs a body farm


A forum being held at the University of Wolverhampton will raise the issue of whether the UK needs a Human Taphonomy Facility, sometimes known as a ‘Body Farm’.

The world’s first HTF was opened in 1981 by Dr Bill Bass at the University of Tennessee’s new Forensic Anthropology Centre.

The public forum, being held at the University’s City Campus in Wolverhampton and hosted by the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, brings together Dr Anna Williams, Principal Enterprise Fellow from the University of Huddersfield and Dr Christopher Rogers, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at the University of Wolverhampton.

The forum will explore how HTFs can contribute to the work of the police, law courts and science in general.  This will be followed by an expert panel and question and answer session with the audience.

Dr Rogers said: “After an organism dies, it decomposes but we know very little about how and why things actually break down after death.  This lack of knowledge is of serious concern in forensic investigations involving decomposed remains, especially when questions arise relating to how long somebody has been dead.

“Forensic Taphonomy is a relatively new discipline that aims to study, amongst other things, how remains decompose and how this information can assist in determining when someone died.

“The development of new techniques is essential and requires novel ways of thinking and we are keen to capture reaction about the UK having its own Human Taphonomy Facility.  The aim of this forum is to raise awareness of Human Taphonomy Facilities, but also to conduct a survey into the public opinion of HTFs. With enough participants, the outcome will help to ascertain whether or not developing the UK's first HTF is a viable proposition.”

The public forum is being held on Wednesday 13th June 2018 from 10.00 am until 3.30 pm in the Mary Seacole Building (MH002) at City Campus, opposite The Molineux, and is open to staff, students and members of the public.

Find out more about Human Taphonomy Facility work on this blog.



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