Formed in 1998, BABAO promotes the study of biological (or physical) anthropology for the purpose of understanding the physical development of the human species from the past to the present.

Biological anthropologists study biological evolution and variation. This may include the study primatology, hominines, medical anthropology, forensic anthropology, and bioarchaeology, the latter being focused on archaeological human remains, including palaeopathology or the study of ancient disease.

The British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO) provides a forum for discussion and intellectual exchange for professionals and students in all areas of biological anthropology.

BABAO acts as an advocate to encourage discussion of new research discoveries at our conferences, disseminates this knowledge in our publications, provides guidance to biological anthropologists in the form of our Code of Ethics and Code of Practice, provides help to museum curators in the form of our “Guidance for Institutions Receiving Collections”, and where possible education to the general public on issues relating to biological anthropology.

We believe that it is vitally important that we improve our understanding of our species through the study of the remains of humans and their ancestors who lived in the past, in conjunction with the study of modern humans and closely related species of primates living around the world today. Such knowledge helps us to comprehend just what it is to be human.

We are fully committed to promoting the highest ethical standards in the treatment and care of human remains and do not condone actions or statements that violate these principles. Membership of the organization is open to all who support these aims.