19 Med. Sci. & L. 1 (1979)

handle is hein.journals/mdsclw19 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Printed in Great Britain   Editorial    1


Editorial


The  Guest  Editorial in this issue is by Sir
Thomas  Lund.

As the second Past President of the Academy
  and therefore doddering rapidly to the grave
  I have been given the opportunity  to write
a guest Editorial for Medicine, Science and the
Law.
   We in the Academy   started reasonably well
With great ambitions. We  have grown  slowly
and rather laboriously through the efforts of a
comparatively small number  of our members,
and I feel that the time has come when all of us
in the Academy  should put  into it more than
we  have in the past.
   The  Constitution has  been  changed.  No
longer are we divided into the three disciplines
of medicine, science and the law, with a section
for each.
   Now  the members   of the Academy  should
collectively, whatever their walk in life, be pre-
pared to share their expertise with others in the
same  field and at the same time be  enabling
the rising generation, who  want to  learn all
that they can  about the forensic sciences, to
benefit from  listening to, and meeting,  the
experts in the various areas with which they
are concerned.
   Among  our members  are men  and women  at
the head of their professions. They each have
a great deal to give and, dare one say it, perhaps
something  to learn even now from  the experi-
ences of others.

bI   have  always envisaged the  Academy   as
  (eing a centre where all the greatest expert
witnesses, who are called to give evidence be-
fore the courts or to express opinions which
may   even avoid court proceedings, can meet
together, can exchange experiences, can help to
train up to their standards the rising generation
of expert witnesses, can learn from the lawyers
the techniques of appearing before a court and
what  the lawyers need to learn, and can teach
the lawyers what evidence they can give in the
many  specialized fields of medicine and science


with  which lawyers  must inevitably at times
be almost  completely unfamiliar.
   My  personal view  is that, instead of the
three previous 'departmentalized' sections of
the  Academy,   we  should  create groups  or
committees,  call them what  you  will, to re-
search into, study and make recommendations
to the  Council of  the Academy   for action,
on  specific subjects which, maybe,  concern
a cross-section of members   of the Academy
be  they doctors, scientists, lawyers or police
officers.
   I have  in mind  study groups  on  crashed
aircraft, the recent type  of disaster at the
Spanish caravan site, battered wives and babies
or  indeed any  of  a hundred  other subjects
of everyday  occurrence with which  all of us
may  be involved.
   The  main object of this Editorial is to seek
to inspire those who have read thus far to play
an  active part in the life of the  Academy.
   Will you suggest some subject into which a
committee  or group could  get its teeth? If so,
will you  send it in to the Secretary-General?
Will you be prepared to chair discussions on it
and  get others, whom  you  know,  to take an
active part?  Don't  leave everything  to the
members  of the Council to attend to! Will you,
in short, put into the Academy more  than you
may  at present get out of it, and help to make
it a really live and worthwhile instrument of
progress in the forensic scientific field.
   Yes,  Sir and Madam,   I mean  you!  Please
 produce your ideas and give the Academy your
 active assistance.

 The  next  Annual  General  Meeting  of T']he
 British Academy  of Forensic Sciences will be
 held on   Wednesday   6  June  1979  at  The
 Zoological Society of London,  Regent's Park,
 London,  NW1  4RY.  In accordance with article
 12(i) of  the  Constitution, nominations  for
 four members  of Council should be received in
 writing by the Secretary-General not later than
 Tuesday 27 March  1979.

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