A senior lecturer of History at the University of Manchester, Ian Burney’s research and publication activity has focused on the crossroads of the histories of medicine, science, the law, and the social and cultural history of modern Britain. This work has been most significantly embodied in two published monographs in the history of forensic medicine and science.
He is now taking on the fascinating but almost wholly neglected field of twentieth-century English forensic medicine and science. His new project, Bodies, Traces and Spaces: A History of Forensic Homicide Investigation in 20th-century England (funded by the Wellcome Trust), traces out several major themes in twentieth-century English forensics. It charts the shifting relationship between the body-centred forensic medicine inherited from the nineteenth century, and the rise of a forensic science which supplemented (and to some extent supplanted) the pathological investigation of the body with an interest in the analysis of “things” (e.g. blood, hair, fibre, “dust”) in the newly articulated space of the “crime scene”.
Ian’s principal publications in this field of study, many of which are available on Open Access, are listed in the “publications” section on this page.