Gösta Gustafson Award

With respect and sympathy to GÖSTA GUSTAFSON (16 April 1906 - 20 October 2001)

Described as the doyen of forensic odontology in Europe, acclaimed internationally as one of the foremost pioneers of the discipline, and founding father of IOFOS, Professor Gösta Gustafson graduated in dentistry in 1932 at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, and in 1934 in Stockholm. He then commenced private dental practice in Gothenburg. He was focussing his particular interest in the histopathology of the dental hard tissues and the estimation of age. Soon he became consultant in forensic odontology to the police in Gothenburg and continued in this role until 1950 when he joined the Odontological Faculty of the University of Lund. In the years from 1950 to 1972 as Professor and Head of the Department of Oral Histopathology he was maintaining his commitment to forensic odontology.

His first publication in forensic odontology he started in 1943. In 1966 his first textbook Forensic Odontology was published by Staples Press, London. The book has been a bestseller and was supposed to be well known internationally. According to Oxford dictionary latest edition it was the first time this constellation - forensic and odontology - was used. His book had given him many international contacts and he had got to know medical forensic people and the police in many countries even outside Europe like USA, Australia and the Far East.

Wherever he went, his reputation for his enterprise, research and experience preceded him, and his magnetic personality and authority enabled him to build bridges of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation between the dental and medical professions, police and legal practitioners.

His international fame is evidenced by the number of scientific associations and learned societies and institutions which have been honoured by his honorary membership. They include the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zahn-, Mund-, und Kieferheilkunde (DGZMK) (Germany), The British Association of Forensic Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons (UK), Academie Nationale de Chirurgie Dentaire (France), Associato Medicorum Bohemoslovacorum (Prague), Tokyo Dental College, (Japan), International Association for Dental Research, and the prestigious award of Commander of the Royal Order of the Northern Star.

Perhaps however his lasting memorial will be his involvement as co-founder together with Francois Garlopeau and Jean Payen, Paris, of the International Organisation for Forensic Odonto-Stomatology (IOFOS) originally ISFOS. He was the first President, together with Professor Kazuo Suzuki (Japan) and Dr. Lowell Levine (USA), in 1973-1975. From a humble beginning IOFOS has grown to some 24 national member societies. His last official act was, as guest of honour, to formally open the 13th IOFOS Meeting in Düsseldorf in 1993.

Gösta's dedication and passion for forensic odontology have been excelled only by his adoration of his devoted life-Iong wife and partner for 67 years, Anna-Greta, a highly respected dentist and scholarly academic in her own right. Anna-Greta has given Gösta encouragement and support and her complete and undying love. Her amazing out-going personality and concern for people has endeared her to all whose lives she has touched, and has contributed so much to their united achievements.

Kenneth A. Brown, Adelaide
Gunnar Johanson, Malmö
Klaus Rötzscher, Speyer