In keeping with the approach of Halloween, Professor Walter Rowe’s talk will examine the best known outbreak of witchcraft in the United States. He will discuss the events in Massachusetts in[masked] that resulted in nineteen executions and one pressing to death. He will also critically evaluate the various attempts to provide naturalistic explanations for this witchcraft outbreak (lying, ergotism, epidemica lethargica, village factionalism, ‘uppity women,’ and the stresses of protracted warfare). Professor Rowe will also present the impact of the Salem Witchcraft Trials on popular culture.
Professor Walter F. Rowe is a Professor of Forensic Sciences at The George Washington University, where he has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Forensic Sciences for more than 30 years. Professor Rowe has a B.S. in chemistry from Emory University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. He served two years in the U.S. Army crime laboratory system as a forensic drug chemist and a forensic serologist. During his military service Rowe was also a credentialed criminal investigator and participated in processing crime scenes (including the scene of the Fort Bragg murders, for which Dr. Jeffrey McDonald is now serving multiple life prison terms). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a former member of the editorial board of the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Professor Rowe is also a member of ASTM Committee E30, which sets standards (including educational standards) for a variety of forensic science disciplines. He is also a member of the
American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners. He has been a consultant forensic scientist to law-enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s offices and defense attorneys; Professor Rowe has worked closely with Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld of the Innocence Project. He has contributed chapters to monographs and textbooks in forensic science, including one of the two main textbooks used for undergraduate instruction in the field of forensic science. Professor Rowe is a member of the Council of Forensic Educators and is a past president of that organization.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members.
Refreshments and socializing after the talk.