Outrage ensued after a selfie emerged online of a Yale dental graduate student posing with two severed human heads that he took during a workshop at the Connecticut university. Creating a photo with a rather grotesque and gory depiction of severed heads is not what most people would expect from anyone affiliated with this university, which takes pride in only accepting the cream of the crop when it comes to students.
Yale University vows to ensure the cadavers that are donated for the sake of science will be treated with the utmost respect after a storm erupted over a recent online picture, according to ABC News.
Karen Peart, speaking on behalf of the university situated in New Haven, said, “The photograph taken at a symposium at Yale was disturbing and an inexcusable deviation from anything Yale would expect to occur.”
The photo was taken during an early summer symposium on dental-related facial deformities held on the Yale School of Medicine campus in June of last year. The picture that contains the two severed heads also captured the images of the orthodontics program director and an assistant professor, according to News Hub.
The picture shows the program director, Dr. Flavio Uribe, and several of the graduate students looking up at the camera as others around them are concentrated on their work. The picture also shows two severed heads lying face-up on nearby tables. Uribe said he was busy teaching students how to put screws in the cadaver heads and wasn’t sure what was going on at the time when the picture was taken.
I have a no-photos rule in my osteology class (unless it's for their final report). https://t.co/B6OhpDCtwD
— Kristina Killgrove ☠ (@DrKillgrove) February 6, 2018
He said that “someone, unfortunately, took a photo,” and it was so quick that he wasn’t sure what was encompassed by the camera’s lens as far as the surroundings go. According to Yale, the severed heads were brought in especially for this symposium, and they were not from cadavers that were donated to the university’s medical department. It is not clear exactly how the severed heads were obtained.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 7, 2018
According to News Hub, while the symposium was held on the Yale University campus, it was not a part of the Yale anatomy program. The photo appeared online as part of a group chat and was obtained under the condition of anonymity. The person who took the photo would not give permission for it to be published online out of fear of being expelled from the university.
Officials are taking the appropriate steps of speaking to the students and staff about the use of the severed heads in the image, conveying that this was “highly inappropriate.”
Another spokesperson from Yale, Thomas Conroy, said in a statement, “The photograph taken at a symposium at Yale was disturbing and an inexcusable deviation from anything Yale would expect to occur.”