A Brief Introduction to Forensic Science

What is forensic science? When most people think of forensic science, they automatically think of any number of crime TV shows, including but not limited to: CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York, NCIS, Law and Order, Dexter, Bones, and Criminal Minds. Sometimes you may get people who will also include Dateline, 20/20 and the entire ID Channel when they think about forensic science. While all of these are examples of how and where forensic scientists work, the definition of forensic science in simply:

The application of any science or technology to assist in criminal or civil investigations

In short, this means that any scientific or technological field can assist in police detectives in determining that actually happened before, during, or after the crime was committed.  While forensic scientists primarily work in criminal forensic laboratories that are at the federal, military, state, county or even the at the city level. However, forensic scientists are needed at any company in which crimes could be committed or where crimes can be investigated. Many insurance agencies will hire forensic scientist to help in their investigation to determine who was at fault before sending out the insurance check. They may also need a scientists to read and interpret the examination report from the police department or the crime lab. Fortune 500 companies will have some forensic scientists on staff to protect against internal and external thief threats.

Forensic scientists are tasked with the collection, preservation, and the analysis of scientific evidence during the course of a criminal or civil investigation. There are several fields in forensic science that you could pursue if you are interested in this field. This blog provides a list of the different career options as a forensic science.

While you have practicing forensic scientist there are also forensic researchers who are talked with developing new analytical method, technologies and manners of interpretation of forensic evidence to advance the science. The need for forensic researchers is because practicing forensic scientists are so inundated with analyzing case evidence, there is very little extra time to regularly conduct research and development projects to advance the since. While some forensic researchers may work at a crime lab, where they have hands on access to case issues and they conduct in-house research to aid their laboratory. Many others researchers will work in a federal or academic research laboratory, where they can dedicate most of their time to developing and validating methods to analyze and comparison forensic evidence. Once they have a method that works in, forensic researchers will work with crime lab personal who wish to adopt the method and operationalize it in their lab.

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