It is the year 1248 in court during the Song Dynasty. Song Si is impartially describing to the court the difference between a strangulation victim and a person who has drowned. This can be described as forensis and science in Latin terms; commonly referred to as forensic science. Recounts of science being used to solve crimes in public trial have proved to be very useful. To this day, forensic scientists still serve as expert witnesses in court. With the exception that today’s typical crime is analyzed under bright halogen lights, rather than under the sun. There are also many other duties performed by an average forensic scientist. Someone interested in this field would benefit greatly by having a degree in one of the sciences, especially education in nature, chemistry, or biology science.
In simple terms, forensic science uses scientific and analytical methods in the aid of solving crimes. This requires the scientific method be employed. The scientist receives the sample, and then performs many tests in a clean lab under surgical lights. Sometimes the scientist will present the results of these tests in an understandable non-partial manner to members of a court. These results are commonly the solving-factor, bringing a close to many cases, even ones that have gone cold. There are many instances when a case has been uncrackable for hundreds of years. With the advancements made in this field, cases like this are being solved every day. Retested samples make up a significant part of the scientist’s duties.
The work in the lab may seem daunting, never knowing what type of sample might be submitted for testing. For some, being in the bright lab and seeing a wide variety of specimens that need testing and analyzing might be too overwhelming. Being comfortable in stressful situations, like the courtroom, is also a desirable trait for anyone who wants to become a forensic scientist. Being a good communicator with others is also vital.
The forensic scientist occupation can be found in sectors such as the local or state government, various med labs, or any type of investigation department. The work is much like solving a big puzzle, only the puzzle is split into different departments. A sample could be submitted to the lab that needs to be analyzed or re-analyzed. You’ll quickly realize the work will take you different places throughout the week, it might even be the crime scene. The internet is littered with different accomplishments of everyday forensic science at work. This would be a good place to read up-to-date articles on what’s currently happening in the field. Usually, the days will be spent between the lab for tests, the office for reports, and occasionally court to give a statement.
Finding a pathway to becoming a forensic scientist is not complicated. Having an education involving science is a good leg up over other applicants when applying for labs. There are online colleges who offer certified training in forensic science. It is a competitive field and it would be best not to “put all of your eggs in one basket,” or so to speak, on the topic of education. The more you know, the more job opportunities you will find. Certain labs also offer positions as trainees for forensic science positions. It’s best to check with schools nearby or look at the options online when looking for training.
It is incredible to think that forensic science has been a developing field of crime-solving for over 750 years. As technology continues to race into the future, it’s hard not to wonder where else this science might be of use in another couple hundred years. Some things haven’t changed though. It is still an occupation that offers travel and variety. A typical practitioner will engage with many different types of people in his travels. It will be important for them to keep their problem-solving skills sharp as different puzzles come into the lab daily.