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Staff and students examine bones in a lab

Between Friday 11 and Sunday 20 March, we’re celebrating British Science Week. From improving people's health and influencing changes in the law, to supporting business and bringing long lost music to new audiences, our research is having an impact around the world.

Improving the identification of human remains

Our Department of Archaeology’s innovative research is helping the world’s forensic scientists to better identify human remains.

Their ground-breaking research has enhanced the retrieval of evidence and improved the identification of remains and has led to significant advances in the field of forensic analysis both nationally and internationally.

Professor Rebecca Gowland launched the Body Location, Recovery and Identification short course in 2009, which was the first of its kind to be approved by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

The course has trained forensic and civil contingency practitioners and investigators from Beirut, Libya, Malaysia, UK and Western Europe, which has led to delegates adapting our course content for their professional and training needs.

Professor Gowland developed an online version of the Forensic course in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has since had 25,000+ learners from over 140 countries.

Pioneering research in infant sleep safety

Our Anthropologists have revolutionised research into infant sleep safety and helped reduce rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The evidence-based advice they have provided to health professionals and parents has made a global impact, including in the official infant sleep safety guidance in the UK. 

Their research has substantially influenced the policy around co-sleeping national guidelines on infant sleep safety by demonstrating the close link to bed-sharing and breastfeeding.

Find out more

Visit our Research Impact at Durham web page to find out more about how we’re making a difference.