Why the #DeathPositive movement is important for public research

Ashley Warren
Feb 10, 2017 · 2 min read

Last year, I spent a lot of time learning more about the movement of “death positivity,” thanks to researchers on social media. For the unfamiliar, “death positive” refers to a movement to make death a less taboo subject (especially in western cultures). According to Order of the Good Death, this includes open discussion about death, and the surrounding issues that arise with the physical and emotional impact of death.

This movement is comprised of people from a range of background and interests, from death doulas to writers to morticians to researchers. What these people have in common is that they use social media to share their findings and careers with the general public, helping to remove the stigma from things like autopsies, cemeteries, and grief.

When academics and researchers share their research with the public, it removes some of the divide between the general public and the ivory tower. Giving people a look into jobs and field work they may not have the chance to see firsthand includes people in the process. Using social media as a platform to share research, especially on complex topics, is a great way to inspire people to get involved in a cause, and can have a real impact as people turn their interest into action.

Here are some Death Positive research projects you should follow:

The Order of the Good Death

This is a collective of academics who research death-related topics. Together, they educate the masses about death and try to draw new people to the Death Positivity movement.

Death, Scent, & the Live Girl

This website is run by Nuri, a PhD student who studies the intersection of death and fragrance. It’s absolutely fascinating, and Nuri regularly posts about history, death acceptance and how scent impacts life (and death).

So, during the holidays which death and its surrounding rituals are celebrated, peek into the world of death positivity. I guarantee it will give you a new perspective on life, too!

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