The Nutshell Studies and the Mother of Modern Forensics

When: Thursday, June 18, 2020

Where: Visit our Facebook page at 7pm on Thursday for the Facebook live show (refresh until you see the video post), or watch the high quality version on Zoom. Click here to register for Zoom

Cost: Free, with a $5 suggested donation. Make a one-time donation to Make You Think, or please support us on Patreon.

Food and Drink: Grab an (adult) beverage of your choice and join us!

Science on Tap is a science lecture series where you can sit back, enjoy a pint, and laugh while you learn. Listen to experts talk about the science in your neighborhood and around the world. You don’t have to be a science geek to have fun—all you need is a thirst for knowledge!

Science on Tap goes online!*

Frances Glessner Lee was supposed to spend her life as an heiress and socialite. Born in 1878 into a wealthy Chicago family, she was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she developed a fascination with the investigation of violent crimes and made it her life’s work. She is best known for creating the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouses with macabre details: an overturned chair, a blood-spattered comforter, bodies splayed out on the floor or draped over chairs, and all clothed in hand-sewn garments, some of which Lee lovingly knit with sewing pins. These miniatures were used to train law enforcement officers to investigate violent crimes, and her methods are still used today.

At this Science on Tap, Lee’s official biographer Bruce Goldfarb will talk about his book 18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics. He will delve into Lee’s journey from a grandmother without a college degree to being a pioneer in the scientific study of unexpected death. Learn how she used the traditional “women’s work” such as sewing to improve the male-dominated profession of police work, and how she revolutionized forensic investigation.


Written questions during the event are welcome!

The event will be recorded and available to watch online later on our Facebook videos page and YouTube channel.

Find this event on Facebook and Meetup.

*This event is rescheduled from the in-person event originally planned for June 26 at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR.

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