Professor Sue Black has been dubbed the 'corpse whisperer' for her role in deciphering the messages hidden within a dead body.
Professor Sue Black is joined by Silent Witness's Emilia Fox to reveal the secrets of forensic science. Sue shows how the stories of our lives are hidden in the very fabric of our bodies by examining an archaeological skeleton, using techniques she uses in modern-day forensic investigations. She gradually builds up its identity until a pile of old bones once again becomes a real person. She explains how extraordinary clues in our bones can reveal everything from our age and our sex to our diets and our ancestry – there's even a bone in our ear that can reveal where our mother lived while she was pregnant. Professor Black's investigations into the trauma marks visible in the 1,000-year-old skeleton's bones reveal where this person died, and how they died. In the process, she tells this individual's extraordinary life story and sheds light on one of the darkest days in English history. The Christmas Lectures date back to 1825 when Michael Faraday founded the lectures for children at the Royal Institution. They are the world's longest running science television series, which today use demonstrations and interactive experiments with the live theatre audience.
S1E1 • 2022 • Science
Professor Sue Black investigates a Christmas murder mystery to show how serious crimes are solved when there isn't a body. Sue is joined by an expert team including leading police specialists, forensic scientists and an award-winning dog. Assisting them, the audience help to unravel the mystery, using the latest forensic cameras, fingerprint techniques and DNA analysis. Remarkable soil analysis shows how a suspicious pair of muddy boots can be traced back to the most precise location. With insights into real serious crime investigations, Sue and her team draw on all their experience to solve the mysterious case.
S1E2 • 2022 • Science
The final lecture in the series begins with a 'heist'. A jewel thief steals a precious man-made diamond from the Royal Institution's collection. Can forensic evidence conclusively identify and convict the criminal responsible? To find out, the Royal Institution's lecture theatre is transformed into a courtroom and the audience acts as jury on the case, with a special guest king's counsel invited to defend the suspect. Forensic evidence is based on probability; it can never be 100 per cent certain. So, how convincing does the evidence need to be for the court of the Royal Institution's own jury to reach a guilty verdict? Includes insights from real criminal investigations.
S1E3 • 2022 • Science