Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology

Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology

1st Edition - April 12, 2018

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  • Authors: Nicholas Passalacqua, Marin A. Pilloud
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128120668
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128120651

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Forensic anthropologists are confronted with ethical issues as part of their education, research, teaching, professional development, and casework. Despite the many ethical challenges that may impact forensic anthropologists, discourse and training in ethics are limited. The goal for Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology is to outline the current state of ethics within the field and to start a discussion about the ethics, professionalism, and legal concerns associated with the practice of forensic anthropology.

Key Features

This volume addresses:

  • The need for professional ethics
  • Current ethical guidelines applicable to forensic anthropologists and their means of enforcement
  • Different approaches to professionalism within the context of forensic anthropology, including issues of scientific integrity, qualifications, accreditation and quality assurance
  • The use of human subjects and human remains in forensic anthropology research
  • Ethical and legal issues surrounding forensic anthropological casework, including: analytical notes, case reports, peer review, incidental findings, and testimony
  • Harassment and discrimination in science, anthropology, and forensic anthropology


Practicing forensic anthropologists, upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in forensic anthropology. Bioarchaologists, forensic pathologists, death investigators, and bio-ethicists

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to Professionalism, Ethics, and Forensic Anthropology
    2. The Need for Professional Ethics
    3. Current Ethical Guidelines and a Theory of Ethics
    4. Defining the Role of the Forensic Anthropologist
    5. The Use of Human Subjects in Forensic Anthropology
    6. Reporting and Testifying in Forensic Anthropology
    7. Discrimination and Harassment in Forensic Anthropology
    8. Looking Backward and Thinking Forward

    Appendix A Acronyms
    Appendix B SWGAnth Guidelines
    Appendix C Websites of Ethical Codes (Accessed November 2017)

Product details

  • No. of pages: 146
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: April 12, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128120668
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128120651

About the Authors

Nicholas Passalacqua

Nicholas Passalacqua
Dr. Passalacqua received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State University in 2012 and was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 2016. Dr. Passalacqua is an Assistant Professor and the Forensic Anthropology Program Coordinator at Western Carolina University. Prior to arriving at WCU, he worked as a deploying forensic anthropologist with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency – Laboratory in Oahu, Hawaii. Dr. Passalacqua is a co-founder and a current co-editor of the journal Forensic Anthropology. He is also currently a board member of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, the chair of the Anthropology Consensus Body of the Academy Standards Board, and a member of the Anthropology sub-committee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees. Dr. Passalacqua co-authored the award-winning textbook: Forensic anthropology: Current methods and practice, as well as the books: Ethics and professionalism in forensic anthropology, and A laboratory manual for forensic anthropology. Dr. Passalacqua also has numerous publications in such journals as: Forensic Anthropology, The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, The International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, and The Journal of Forensic Sciences, as well as chapters in such books as: Skeletal trauma analysis: Case studies in context, The analysis of burned human remains, Age estimation of the human skeleton, and A companion to forensic anthropology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor and the Forensic Anthropology Program Coordinator at Western Carolina University, NC, USA

Marin A. Pilloud

Dr Pilloud is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Prior to this appointment she was a forensic anthropologist at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and a Registered Professional Archaeologist. Dr. Pilloud is currently the co-editor of Dental Anthropology and serves on the editorial board of Scientific Reports. Her research interests focus on the human skeleton and how it can inform our understanding of human behavior in archaeological contexts and also be used in a forensic context as part of the biological profile. She is particularly interested in the application of dental morphology and metrics to answering research questions in both of these realms. She has active bioarchaeological research programs in Neolithic Anatolia and prehistoric California, and regularly consults with law enforcement agencies to complete forensic anthropological casework. She has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is also the co-editor of the volume Biological Distance Analysis: Forensic and Bioarchaeological Perspectives.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA

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