The Agriculture and Anthropology Section organised the following events at the 2017 British Science Festival:

Does the UK need a body farm?
Body farms are outdoor laboratories where donated human cadavers are used for scientific experiments. Anna Williams, one of the country’s leading forensic anthropologists, explained how they help solve crimes and outlined the case for and against the need for one in the UK.

Dead and buried: an anthropological tour of Woodvale Cemetery
The social history of Woodvale Cemetery was explored and broad questions around our attitudes to death, body disposal and commemoration were considered with a local historian and a social anthropologist. Participants heard how human societies have dealt with death and burial across the globe and through time, and discussed current issues such as the rise of natural burials and the contentious topic of funeral poverty.

President 2017: Dr. Anna Williams, Huddersfield University
President 2016: Professor Robin Crompton, University of Liverpool
President 2015: Dr. Matthew Pope, University College London
President 2014: Dr. Susannah Thorpe, University of Birmingham

Recorder
: Dr. Fiona Coward, Bournemouth University
I am an archaeologist whose work focuses on the multidisciplinary study of the evolution of human social life and cognition. I’m interested in how and why humans were able to scale up their social lives from the very small social groups we lived in for much of our prehistory to the global social networks which characterise people’s lives today. Within this broad area I am interested in the relationship between physical and social environments during human evolution, and on the social changes which formed part of the shift from mobile hunting and gathering to settled village life in the early Near East. I am particularly interested in the role material culture plays in these processes.