Prof Sue Black & Ian Rankin In Conversation

When forensic anthropologist Prof Sue Black and crime writer Ian Rankin met in conversation on 21 October, what came across was the real mutual respect they hold for each other’s work. Despite being in front of an audience of 250 local people at St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats, the conversation flowed and the topics were wide ranging. The pair told anecdotes about their lives, highlighted the people and events that have shaped their work and discussed how their disciplines intersect.

Together they explored the question, “Do crime writers have a responsibility to write good science?” Rankin admitted to “telling lies” in order to deliver a strong narrative, but said he was interested in portraying science in an accurate way. He said he thought audiences are used to hearing scientific language due to TV shows such as CSI and Bones, but questioned how realistic these portrayals are, when editing skips the mundane details – lack of funding, or defunct office machinery – that would scupper the neat resolution of each case within the allotted 42 minutes air time.

Read the full press release here: Ian Rankin in Conversation with Sue Black