An Interesting Look at the Different Important Aspects of Forensic Science

Popularized by non-fiction television programs like “American Justice,” “The New Detectives” and “Forensic Files,” forensic science deals with the use of science to solve various kinds of questions that are of interest to the law. Other famous TV shows that focus on crime detection include “Law and Order,” “Cold Case” and “CSI.” The same interesting theme can be found in television series such as “Waking the Dead,” “Silent Witness” and “The Mentalist.” Be able to understand this all-important field by learning the definition of forensic science.

The Definition of Forensic Science

What is forensic science? This branch of science is the application of a wide range of sciences to solve questions that are relevant to the legal system. Its findings are commonly used in relation to a civil action or in solving crimes. It is classified into different subdivisions, one of which is computational forensics, which deals with the development of software and algorithms for use in forensic examination. Another important subdivision is digital forensics, which makes use of scientific techniques and methods to recover data from digital or electronic media.

Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details

During ancient times, the world had insufficient forensic practices, which actually helped criminals avoid punishment. Witness testimony and forced confessions were used to decide criminal trials and investigations. Entomology and medicine were first used to solve criminal cases some time in 1248, which was documented in the book of Hsi Duan Yi.

In modern times, medical practitioners started to gather details on the cause as well as the manner of death of people in Europe in the sixteenth century. One of these was a French army surgeon named Ambroise Pare, who performed a systematic study on the effects of violent death on the internal organs. After that, a couple of Italian surgeons named Paolo Zacchia and Fortunato Fidelis studied changes in the body’s structure resulting from a disease. These initial efforts would later on become the foundation of modern pathology.

Forensics is a broad field of science, which can be classified further into various subdivisions. These include forensic linguistics, trace evidence analysis and questioned document examination. Some of the most notable forensic scientists throughout the years are Michael Baden, a pathologist from New York, and William M. Bass, a forensic anthropologist. Although this field of science relies greatly on evidence, some of its techniques are considered questionable. Some of the doubtful techniques are forensic dentistry and comparative bullet-lead analysis.