A new exhibition, opening at NIH's National Library of Medicine, traces the history of forensic medicine--the efforts of physicians, surgeons and other specialists to translate views of bodies and body parts into hard evidence or "visible proofs" that testify on behalf of the victims of violent crime and against the guilty. Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body opens Thursday, February 16, 2006, 10:00 a.m. with a special program featuring several of the persons portrayed in the exhibition. Special press previews are available by appointment, too, February 8-15. (Please see end of this release for details on opening event, press previews, exhibition hours and location, and sample images.)
"Visible Proofs pulls back the curtain on the field of forensic medicine, which is so much a part of our lives today through the parade of popular crime shows, novels and movies," noted Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, Director of the National Library of Medicine. "But this exhibition is rooted entirely in fact, not fiction. We reach all the way back to medieval times to show how medical professionals around the world have, over the centuries, developed methods for seeing inside the body and making visible what the untrained, unequipped eye cannot."
"This rich tapestry of stories and scientific information is quite contemporary, too," explained Elizabeth Fee, PhD, Director of NLM's History of Medicine Division. "Today, we increasingly rely on DNA analysis, whether to persuade judges and juries or to help identify the victims of disasters like Hurricane Katrina. How has that science evolved? Visible Proofs shows how forensic views of the body--in the laboratory, at the crime scene, and in courts of law--and views of forensic science itself have evolved through time and changed our world."
Items on display include:
Among the stories told in the exhibition are:
"Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body," has an Experience Zone, where detectives of all ages can explore forensics firsthand. Participants can work with recreated miniature murder scenes, use black lights to test for evidence of ingerprints and bloodstains, examine human bones for tale-telling characteristics, and use software to create a composite face from hundreds of facial features.
The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library, is located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The NIH is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body," is located on the first floor of the Library, Building 38, at Rockville Pike and Center Drive. Limited pay parking available; the exhibition is approximately 300 yards from the Medical Center stop on Metro's Red Line.
"Visible Proofs" is open to the public and admission is free. Visiting hours are: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturdays through February 16, 2008. NLM is closed Sundays and federal holidays. For directions, security policies and other visitor information, please consult the Library's Web site: www.nlm.nih.gov/about/visitor.html.
The February 16 opening program and ribbon-cutting is at 10:00 a.m. in the Library's Lister Hill Center Auditorium. To attend the event, or for press preview tours February 8-15, please call Kathy Cravedi, 301.496.6308, or e-mail email@example.com.
Sample images from the exhibition, are at: www.nlm.nih.gov/news/press_releases/visibleproofphotos.html
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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