Why does the UK need a Human Taphonomy Facility?

Anna Williams, Christopher Rogers, John Paul Cassella

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Human Taphonomy Facilities (HTFs) are outdoor laboratories where scientific research is carried out on donated human cadavers in order to understand how human decomposition progresses in a variety of conditions. There are currently eight such facilities in the USA, one in Australia and one on mainland Europe. Forensic scientists in the UK have started to ask the question ‘Does the UK need a Human Taphonomy Facility?’. A review of the literature produced by the existing HTFs, as well as published opinion and commentaries about these facilities and the feasibility of one in the UK has been undertaken. The existing arguments for and against the establishment of a Human Taphonomy Facility in the UK have been examined. Given recent media interest in the possibility of the establishment of a Human Taphonomy Facility in the UK, and the surrounding controversy, it is important to evaluate the potential benefit or harm of the creation of such a facility to Society and the scientific community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Volume296
Early online date21 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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