I was on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, discussing the repatriation of human remains from the Natural History Museum to the Torres Straits Islands in Australia
I critique the process – it gives control over the future of scientific research to a group based on their ethnicity, which puts limits on knowledge. I also don’t think that repatriation can make reparation for past wrongs, and that there is a danger an obsession with the wrongs of the past, and a fight over the old bones of the long dead, distracts our attention from the very real problems faced by the living.
Ned David, of the Torres Strait Islander Community, on the other hand, says many of their older people are overjoyed.
There is a longer news piece on the BBC here in which I am quoted, as are representatives from the Natural History Museum.