JBS Haldane Lecture 2018 – Turi King

Turi King is a Reader in Genetics and Archaeology and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Leicester. She is perhaps best known for leading the genetics analysis in the King Richard III case leading to the identification of his remains in 2014 which led to his reinterment in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

 

Turi has an unusual background in that she started her career in archaeology in her native Canada and then reading for a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge where she specialised in Biological Anthropology. It was here that she became interested in how genetics could be used to answer questions in history and archaeology and moved to the University of Leicester to study molecular genetics, her award winning PhD being on the link between British Surnames and the Y chromosome. All of her subsequent work has combined genetics with history, archaeology, geography, forensics and epidemiology.

 

Alongside this, she began to develop a public engagement strand to her career, becoming the most prodigious member of staff at the University of Leicester for Public Engagement work. Alongside giving talks and workshops at schools she gives numerous lectures ranging from family history groups to a Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill. She has advised on and appeared in numerous television and radio programmes and has recently been made a Professor of Public Engagement at the University in recognition of the contribution she continues to make in making science accessible to the general public.