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Problems of Forensic Sciences 2002  Vol. 50 (L)  138-145

Aleksander GŁAZEK, Wojciech PIEKOSZEWSKI
Institute of Forensic Research, Cracow, Poland


The beginnings of forensic science in Poland are inextricably linked to Cracow and the Jagiellonian University. Next year marks the two hundred and twentieth anniversary of the commencement of regular lectures in toxicology and “police-law chemistry” in Cracow, given by Jan Szaster. Twenty-one years after the start of these lectures, in 1804, the first Department of Forensic Medicine in Poland was established in Cracow. During the nineteenth century, research was carried out at this department, and also at the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacy, into how to apply the latest scientific findings and technology in the forensic field. Professorships in pathological and forensic chemistry were held by eminent scientists. The 1870’s and 1880’s were undoubtedly a great period for forensic sciences in Cracow. At this time there were two Departments of Forensic Medicine (in 1881 they we combined), and Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacy, oriented towards chemical and toxicological studies. In total there were 3 to 5 departments working for the administration of justice. Many eminent scientists were forensic expert witnesses during this period. Names such as Ludwik Teichmann-Stawiarski, Karol Olszewski, Leon Wachholz, Włodzimierz Sieradzki, and Stanisław Horoszkiewicz are engraved in the annals fo forensic science.
In 2004 the two hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Department of Forensic Medicine will coincide with the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Institute of Forensic Research, a research establishment that plays a significant role in the development and promotion of forensic sciences in Poland. The Institute, which after 1941 inherited the excellent traditions of the Cracow Department of Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology, has also contributed to the revival or establishment of laboratories serving the forensic sciences at the Jagiellonian University.

Słowa kluczowe

Cracow; History; Forensic science.

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