The blog provides specific information to help you decide if forensic science is the right choice for you. With the inside scoop on forensic science professors, schools and training programs, as well as detailed information on the steps and requirements to become a forensics professional, the Forensic EDU blog is a fine place to begin your research.
Forensic technology has rapidly advanced over the last few decades. Today, investigators can solve cases by using computer programs to generate possible facial images of suspected criminals or unidentified victims based on DNA evidence.
Money laundering investigations have busted kingpins of international criminal organizations, prevented terrorists from carrying out attacks, exposed double agent spies, and even contributed to the resignation of a United States president.
Between paper recordkeeping, disaggregated logs of evidence, and bulky, outdated lab equipment, there is plenty of room for improvement in forensic science and investigation. That is where phone apps come in.
Those who practice forensics are essentially scientific detectives who must reconstruct an event after the fact, through the study of biology, chemistry, and technology. Forensic professionals study ballistics, toxicology, questionable documents, fingerprints, DNA, and trace evidence. Their findings help to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent.
Some of the greatest crime fighters are those who fly under the radar. They are not roaming the streets for criminals or getting into car chases, but rather investigating white-collar crimes.
A criminalist collects, documents, preserves, and examines the physical evidence at a crime scene. This could be something as huge as a bus, or as tiny as a pollen grain. Criminologists, on the other hand, study why crimes occur, how they can be prevented, and the effects they have on a society.
Within the forensic community, there is a definite sense of curiosity and eagerness about the value of re-approaching older open cases with fresh eyes and new investigative tools. Crimes that baffled detectives when they occurred or were poorly investigated the first time may benefit from outside observers and modern investigative practices.
The primary use of forensic entomology is in death investigations as insect activity can reveal when, where, and sometimes how a person died. That said, forensic entomology can also assist in detecting drugs and poisons; determining the location of a crime; finding the presence and time of trauma; and even tying suspect, victim, and crime scene to each other.
Barry is Managing Editor of ForensicsColleges.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Barry was previously VP for a financial software company, and currently sits on the board of a K-8 school and lives with his wife and daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area.