Biomedicine in museums

Are there any ethical reasons not to display forensic medical specimens on-line?

Sonia Horn, current Director of Collections at the Medical University of Vienna, has recently announced on different email-lists that the collection of specimens from the university’s Department of Forensic Medicine has now been catalogued and digitised in its entirety.

Great initiative! But I also noticed that for “ethical reasons” they will not make the collection available on the web; they only give researchers access.

Please, satisfy my curatorial curiosity: In our present forensicomedicalized media world, in which TV channels compete feriously about who can show the most revulsive CSI images (like in BBC’s excellent drama series ‘Waking the Dead‘)— what are the ethical reasons for not showing historical forensic science specimens on-line?

Read more about the forensic collection project (in German) here.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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