Forensic Science

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How many of you have ever watched CSI or NCIS on TV? Well, Forensic Science has had a huge impact on these shows as well as many others. There are a lot of misconceptions on what Forensic Science actually is because of what is seen on television. Let me just say, it’s not as glamorous as they make it out to be! We all love a good detective story; however, solving crimes takes a lot longer than 60 minutes! It can years or sometimes even decades before a crime is solved. Where the fictional Sherlock Holmes relied on his powers of observation and deduction, the Forensic Scientist does most of the work without getting most of the credit. Today I will be sharing with you a brief history of where this science got started, what it actually means and what a Forensic Scientist does.

First, The word “Forensics” means something pertaining to or used in a court of law. Today, it almost always refers to a method of obtaining criminal evidence in order to use it in a court of law. One way of thinking about the value of forensic science is to ask: How does it serve the community? According to Dr. Gaensslen, most public forensic science laboratories are supported by municipal, county, state, and federal governments. Forensic Science is based on a man named Edmond Locard. He is considered to be “The Father of the Crime Lab” and his biggest contribution was known as “The Locard Exchange Principle.” According to a textbook called Forensic Science and Criminalistics by Dr. Gaensslen, Dr. Locard was a scientist who, along with professor R. A. Riess, started one of the earliest forensic laboratories that was underground, in the world in 1910, and it all started with this principle. The Locard Exchange Principle states that “Every Contact Leaves a Trace.” He believed that every criminal can be connected to a crime by particles carried from the crime scene. Later on, in the 1930’s, President J. Edgar Hoover organized a National Laboratory to offer forensic services to all law...
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