Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128120651

Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology

1st Edition

Authors: Nicholas Passalacqua Marin A. Pilloud
Paperback ISBN: 9780128120651
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 6th April 2018
Page Count: 146
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Ethics and Professionalism in Forensic Anthropology serves as the first major discussion of ethics and professionalism within the field of forensic anthropology. While there have been some publications on ethics within forensic anthropology (e.g., Walsh-Haney and Lieberman 2005; France 2012; Passalacqua, Pilloud, and Gruters 2014), they are limited in scope and reach. This text serves as a general discussion on ethics, ethical guidelines, and how to act in an ethical and professional matter, while also including comprehensive discussions on topics that are seriously lacking in forensic anthropology. Finally, it sets the stage for further discussions on ethics and professionalism in forensic science.

While there are several volumes that deal with ethics in the forensic sciences in general (e.g., Barnett 2001; Bowen 2009; Upshaw Downs and Ranadive Swienton 2012), and one that deals with ethics in biological anthropology (Turner 2005), there is no volume that deals specifically with ethics in forensic anthropology. As the forensic sciences in general attempt to organize and professionalize their disciplines after the 2009 NAS report, discussions of ethics and qualifications within each subdiscipline are needed.

Key Features

  • Asseses 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
2. Current Ethical Guidelines and Means of Enforcement
3. Need for Professional Ethics
4. Defining the Role of the Forensic Anthropologist
5. Treatment of the Deceased
6. Research in Forensic Anthropology
7. Case work
8. Publications and Grants
9. Harassment and Discrimination
10. Ethical Dilemmas and Potential Resolutions
11. Conclusions


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© Academic Press 2018
Academic Press
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About the Author

Nicholas Passalacqua

Dr. Passalacqua is an Assistant Professor and the Forensic Anthropology Program Coordinator at Western Carolina University. Prior to arriving at WCU Dr. Passalacqua worked as a deploying forensic anthropologist with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency - Laboratory. Nicholas received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State in 2012; and was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 2016. Dr. Passalacqua is a co-founder and editor of the journal Forensic Anthropology. His research interests include age at death estimation, skeletal trauma analysis, and ethics. Dr. Passalacqua is a co-author of the award-winning textbook: Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice, and has numerous publications in such journals as: The Journal of Forensic Sciences, The International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, and The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 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, Western Carolina University, 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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