5 Med. Sci. & L. 1 (1965)

handle is hein.journals/mdsclw5 and id is 1 raw text is: 






MEDICINE                                                        .-

                            SCIENCE                              L
                                                 and the LAW

   Vol. 5                      January     1965                    No. I

                             EDITORIAL
TMREn can be little doubt that crimes of violence are increasing. Whether this be
a passing phase or will continue for some time, it is clear that the public is alive
to the problem, and in many quarters extremely worried.
    It has always been part of the policy of the Academy to press for greater
team-work. It is therefore with great pleasure that we note that the Journal of
Forensic Science has now followed our lead and in its editorial, after mentioning
the influence of great individuals in the past, feels that such days are now over
and greater attention to team-work must be given. Whilst in general agreement
and welcoming these observations, we feel that the influence of the individual
public figure has not entirely been limited to pathologists of the calibre of Spilsbury,
who in spite of his limitations which have been well appreciated, was nevertheless
a power in his time. We would, also again in agreement with the author of the
editorial, suggest that hand in hand with team-work goes specialised expertise,
which should always be the aim of those who wish to accept the duty of presenta-
tion of scientific evidence. Also that the time is past when the pathologist gives
evidence on odontology, anatomy or chemical analysis and the chemist forsakes
his forays into biology and serology for which he was not trained. With the advent
of legal aid, the defence is no longer handicapped by lack of funds and hence is
now in the position to seek assistance from the leading authorities in special subjects,
a phenomenon which has not yet made its impact except in such cases as the
Rhyl Mummy which was discussed at the Dinner of the Academy.
   It is the untimely death of Dr. W. E. D. Evans which perhaps gives weight to
this idea, for his expert knowledge of hairs was rarely appreciated or exploited in
the courts. So. too. his fairly recent contribution to the literature on the chemistry
of death * which in its way, although not appreciated by everyone, was a product
of considerable thought and research. If pursued, this may well lead to advances
in the field of forensic medicine. His death is a sad loss to the younger school of
forensic pathologists who often sought his quiet and unassuming advice.
   Another loss was that of Dr. Fyffe Dorward of Dundee. a regular attender at
the Academy Meetings and one who brought the sound basic knowledge of general
practice into the teaching and practice of forensic medicine In its widest sense, a
qualification which was obviously appreciated when he was elected President of
the Police Surgeons Association of Great Britain.
* The Chemistry of Death (Springfield, Illinois: Chas. C. Thomas).
                                      I
                                                                 M.S.L-I

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