Upcoming BAFS Events

Friends's Dinner 2019: How did forensic science help identify Richard III?

Date: 11th April 2019
Venue: Chapter Hall St John’s Gate EC1M 4BU
Speaker:  Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE

Richard III was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. His remains were lost for more than five centuries until they were uncovered during an archaeological excavation on a city council car park. Professor Hainsworth will speak about her involvement in identifying the skeleton as that of Richard III.

Professor Sarah Hainsworth FREng is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University. She is a Professor of Materials and Forensic Engineering. In January 2019, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours List for her services to Engineering and Forensic Science. Previously she was Graduate Dean and Head of Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester. While in this role, in 2013, Sarah’s expertise helped establish the manner of King Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth through analysing wound marks found on his skeleton.

Guests arrive – drinks reception
7.00pm Guests proceed to Chapter Hall to dine
8.30pm Comfort break
8.40pm Professor Sarah Hainsworth
9.10pm Q & A Chatham House Rules
10.00pm Carriages


The role of plants, fungi and algae in environmental forensics

Date: 20th May 2019, 18:00
Venue: Gordon Museum of Pathology
Speaker: Mark Spencer

Botanists have been working on crime scenes since at least the 1920s. Today, the botanical sciences have the potential to play a key role in some criminal investigations. Advances in molecular biology, especially those relating to non-human DNA, mean that investigators should be more able to use environmental trace evidence during a investigation. However, there are still significant barriers, such as cost, to its use in court. Additionally, more ‘traditional’ approaches such as vegetation fragment identification, are still valuable tools.

Unsurprisingly, the current challenges facing the UK forensics sector are evident in environmental forensics. This talk, by forensic botanist Mark Spencer, will provide an overview of how botany can be applied in the criminal environment, explore more personal observations on the strengths and weaknesses of crime scene management and suggest some options for the future.


Ormrod Lecture 2019

Should Acute Behavioural Disturbance be considered a Public Health Problem?

October 2019
Venue: Barber-Surgeons' Hall

Police restraint related deaths have hit the headlines on many occasions eg Sean Rigg, Olaseni Lewis, Thomas Orchard, Terence smith, Dalian Atkinson. These have been tragic incidents with Inquest lasting many years and threats of misconduct and manslaughter against police officers. Why do people die, who is dying and what is anything can be done to prevent this?

Dr Meng Aw-Yong is an Emergency Medicine clinician and Forensic Medical Examiner (medical Director Met Police), co-author of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Best practice Guideline of Acute Behavioural Disturbance (ABD), past member of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody, Expert on ABD and restraint (including response to Dame Angiolini’s review of Death in Police Custody).

He will explore what causes these deaths and how they can be reduced but more importantly who can make these changes and why there has been such a long delay to change ?