The Forensics Behind the Sinking of the RMS Titanic
SIOUX FALLS – The sinking of the RMS Titanic has captured the imagination and intrigue of generations of people in the century following the 1912 tragedy, spawning numerous books, documentaries, and a blockbuster motion picture.
Now, through the lens of forensic science, Dr. Jennifer Hooper McCarty re-examines the factors that contributed to the Titanic disaster, and finds a culprit in the smallest of places: the rivets that held the ship together. Her talk at Augustana at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 18, is an opportunity to hear how science helped decipher how this “unsinkable” ship was so quickly lost.
Dr. McCarty combines her expertise in the field of materials science and metallurgy, archival research of White Star Line company documents, and reconstruction of ship components to support her theory that the ship sank quickly after rivets failed to keep the sides of the ship together after the iceberg impact. The rapid loss of the ship did not allow enough time for a rescue effort that could have prevented the death of many of the passengers.
Dr. McCarty’s research has been featured in the New York Times, ABC Evening News, BBC America, the Seattle Times, the London Times, The Oregonian, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Her work was published by Kensington Books in February 2008.
Her talk in Gilbert Science Center room 100 is open to the public and is a part of the Sioux Valley Chapter of the American Chemical Society’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. Gilbert Science Center is located at the corner of 33rd Street and Summit Avenue on the campus of Augustana.
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