On Sunday, 13th March 2011, at half past eight in the evening, the French public national television channel France 5 broadcasted a documentary relating the investigation which had led to the “formal” identification of Henry IV’s skull. It had been conducted by a team of scientists led by Doctor Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner – a well-known anthropologist. Throughout the programme, many factors were introduced and proved the identification. And yet, taking a scientific step back and looking at things from a distance with historical knowledge, these factors seem to be questionable. A new perspective which sowed the seeds of doubt on the showcasing of absolute certainty.
Dr. X. Riaud
Department in Epistemology, History of Sciences and Techniques, National Academy of Dental Surgery, National Academy of Surgery, France and Centre François Viète d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques (EA 1161), Université de Nantes, France.
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