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Richard III by Numbers: How Forensic Statistics Nailed the Identify of the "Last Plantagenet"

 
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RSS local group meetings

Thursday 12 October 2017, 05:00pm - 06:00pm

 
Location Room A1.01, Zeeman Building, University of Warwick

The fascinating story of how the mortal remains of Richard III were discovered, in the unlikeliest of  locations,  underneath a car park in Leicester, enthralled the world. 
 
The discovery and moreover the subsequent identification of the skeleton of Richard III beyond any reasonable doubt involved assembling the a inter-disciplinary research team drawn largely from across the University of Leicester.
 
The project required painstaking care at every step and a forensic examination of  all the available evidence. This ranged from the accounts of the Battle at Bosworth, through the remarkable archaeological excavation and review of historical archives including the known family tree of Richard down to the present day. It also focused down on individual molecules of DNA, taken from the skeleton’s teeth, still preserved after over 500 years, and comparing these with DNA of known relatives.  
 
For everyone involved, this was an immense triumph of multidisciplinary teamwork.  But what is less well known is that statistical methods used in forensics investigations were also used by the R3 Team.
 
Professor Kevin Schürer of the University of Leicester, was one of the researchers of the Team.  In this lecture, Professor Schürer will describe the fascinating story of how this international team worked together.
 
The lecture will include how these forensic statistical methods were used to tie all the wide ranging evidence together. This incredible detective story with all its twists and turns, is a genuine thriller dedicated not so much to finding out ‘whodunnit?’ but to determining ‘whoisit?’ 
 
At the conclusion of this astonishing story, the R3 Team was finally able to declare that the skeletal remains found at Grey Friars were indeed those of the Last Plantagenet King who was finally laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral in 2014.
 

Contact For more information, please visit: https://sites.google.com/view/rsswmlg/

Before the talk, tea and coffee will be served in the Statistics Common Room (C0.06) from 4.30–5.00pm. Afterwards, there will be cheese and wine served from 6.00–7.00pm in the same place.

Organiser Name David Selby

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Organising Group(s) RSS West Midlands Local Group