There is an increasing awareness of the ethical considerations related to the study of human remains around the world. This comes with new and improved research methods which give answers to questions we did not even know we could ask, just a few years ago. Combined with changing perceptions, in modern, diverse societies, of the meaning and value of these remains, technological advances make sound ethical judgments about them more important than ever before.

The National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains invites you to a seminar in Oslo on 20 October 2010, to discuss the ethical aspects surrounding the study of human remains. The seminar will cover new techniques of analysis and how these may provide new and informative data about the past. The seminar will also consider questions concerning the dignity and moral standing of the dead; the responsibilities of researchers towards human remains which have been obtained unethically, and how to deal with human remains of indigenous people, as well as other citizens.

Location: Directorate for Cultural Heritage,Dronningensgate 13, Oslo

10:00-10.10: More than just bones? Introducing the seminar
Oddbjørn Sørmoen, Chair of The National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains

10:10-11:10: Human remains, archaeology and ethical issues
Dr Sebastian Payne, Chief Scientist, English Heritage

11:10-12:10: Duties to past persons: Moral standing and posthumous interest of old human remains
Dr Malin Masterton, Uppsala University, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics

12:10-13:00: Lunch

13:00-13:40: To balance the rights of the living and the dead. Reflections on issues raised in the National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains
Oddbjørn Sørmoen, Chair of The National Committee for Research Ethics on Human Remains

13:40-14:20: Research on human remains of indigenous people
- reflections from an archaeological perspective

Dr Kjell-Åke Aronsson, Chief of Ájtte, the Swedish Mountain and Sámi museum , Jokkmokk

14:20-14:40: Coffee/tea, fruit

14:40-15:20: The ethics of destructive bone analyses; and some examples from Denmark 
Professor Niels Lynnerup, Copenhagen University

15:20-16:00: Analysis of DNA from bone: Benefits versus losses
Professor Erika Hagelberg, University of Oslo

16:00-16:30: Remaining questions

 

The seminar is free of charge and open to everyone. Registration before October 10th