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Forensics is the term given to an investigation of a crime using scientific means. It is also used as the name of the application of scientific knowledge to legal matters or Forensic Science is any science used for the purposes of the law, and therefore provides impartial scientific evidence for use in the courts of law, e.g. in a criminal investigation and trial. The forensic sciences form a vital part of the entire justice and regulatory system. Some of the different divisions, or disciplines, of forensic science have become identified primarily with law enforcement - an image enhanced by television and movies. This is misleading because forensic scientists are involved in all aspects of criminal cases, and the results of their work may serve either the defense or the prosecution. The forensic scientist's goal is the evenhanded use of all available information to determine the facts and, subsequently, the truth. The forensic scientist's role in the civil justice arena is expanding. Issues range from questions of the validity of a signature on a will, to a claim of product liability, to questions of whether a corporation is complying with environmental laws, and the protection of constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. Forensic science is a rewarding career where the love of science can be applied to the good of society, public health, and public safety.
Areas of forensic science
Forensic science covers many areas of traditional science and melds them together to create an area of science called forensics. Forensic science uses areas of science such as:
Chemistry (chromatography, spectroscopic analysis, pH and other chemical tests) Biology (entomology, fingerprinting, behavior, hairs, DNA testing etc) Physical science (blood spatter analysis, ballistics, structural analysis, car movements in car accidents) Forensic science is an umbrella term that has various areas under it. When a crime is committed and the forensic team is called in, there are many experts who cover their specialized fields. Although all these people could be considered forensic scientists, they have specific areas that they work in.
There are two main areas of forensic science and these are the minimum requirements for a criminal investigation :
â€¢ Field officers â€“ these are technicians who visit the scene of a crime and collect the physical evidence that may be related to the crime. They also document and record the scene by taking photographs and videos.
â€¢ Lab officers â€“ these are technicians who analyse and complete tests on the evidence collected by the field officers.
â€¢ Crime scene investigator â€“ these are the people who visit the scene of the crime to find, collect, protect and transport all the evidence they have collected back to the crime lab. Latent print examiner â€“ this specialist examines fingerprints, palm prints and footprints.
â€¢ Firearms examiner â€“ this expert examines the evidence to identify what sort of firearm was used by comparing bullet and shell casings and searching for and identifying gunshot residue.
â€¢ Tool mark examiner â€“ this person is similar the fingerprint examiner, but rather than looking for human fingerprints they instead look for any distinctive marks that may have been left by tools that the criminals used.
â€¢ Document examiner â€“ this specialist examines any documents left at the scene. Document examiners determine authenticity and authorship. They also look for any alterations that may have occurred to original documents and may be asked to ID if a particular copier or typewriter has been used in the creation of a document.
â€¢ Trace evidence examiner â€“ these expertsâ€™ analyze and compare any traces that the criminal may have left behind. This person is responsible for analyzing and comparing hair, fibres, glass, soil and paints to work out their type and origin. While the above roles relate to all crimes, there are some additional experts who are called upon if the crime involves finding a body.
â€¢ Forensic Pathologist â€“ this person is responsible for examining the body, undertaking autopsies to determine cause of death and is required to collect any evidence that can be found on or in the victim. Forensic pathologists may also examine living victims to determine the causes and ages of injuries the live victim may have received during the crime. The Forensic Pathologist uses autopsy reports, police reports, medical records, suspect/witness interviews and the results of crime lab evidence analyses in the pursuit of answers.
â€¢ Forensic Anthropologist â€“ in the case where remains are difficult to identify or are skeletal a Forensic Anthropologist is called in. These experts can use skeletal remains to work out age, sex and race of the deceased. They can also identify any injuries or illnesses that the victim may have suffered and sometimes can even establish the time of death. Forensic Anthropologists can also use remains to do toxicological, chemical and DNA tests to help them discover more about the victim. These experts donâ€™t just do lab work, but they can also find out a lot by visiting the location of where the remains were found.
â€¢ Forensic Odontologist â€“ these experts are basically forensic dentists. The help to ID bodies by looking at and matching dental patterns with dental records collected from dentists. They are also called in, in cases where there are bite marks or teeth found.
â€¢ Forensic Entomologist â€“ Entomology is the study of insects. A Forensic Entomologist uses their knowledge of insect life cycles to determine time of death. It is common for bodies that have been found sometime after death to be invaded by hungry insects. This expert can also use their knowledge of where different insects live to work out if a body has been moved or not.
OMICS Group Special Features:
OMICS International Organizes 300+ conferences, 500+workshops and 200+symposiums on Clinical, Medicine, Pharma and Science & Technology every year across USA, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia and UK with support from 1000 more Scientific Societies and Publishes 500 open access journals which contains over 30000 eminent personalities, reputed scientists as editorial board members. The OMICS International Conferences are instrumental in giving a serious stage to the incredibly famous scientists, understudies, researchers, academicians, organizations, business visionaries and businesses through its 300+ International Conferences and occasions yearly all through the globe to raise and examine the advancements in the field of OMICS Study. OMICS International Conferences are completely pressed with intriguing occasions, exercises and learning going with the quick entrepreneurial enthusiasm to make them genuine. They are multidimensional with synchronous movement situated symposia, International workshops and presentations where the identities from Sciences (Both unadulterated & connected), Pharmaceutical, Medical, Clinical, Engineering & Technology and Life Sciences accumulate with their procedures in discovering genuine answers for different basic issues around the globe.
Related Conferences/Workshops/Symposiums :
1. International Association for Identification, August 10-16, 2014 Minneapolis, MN
2. The 2014 Annual General Meeting of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), August 11-15, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii
3. 22nd International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences, August 31 â€“ September 4, 2014 Adelaide, South Australia
4. Southern Association Forensic Scientist (SAFS) Annual 2014 Meeting, September 23-26, 2014, Savannah, GA
5. Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, October 4-10, 2014, St. Paul, MN
6. World Forensic Festival, October 13-18, 2014, Seoul, South Korea
7. Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers, October 14-17, 2014, Vancouver, B.C
8. Society of Forensic Toxicologists, October 19-24, Grand Rapids, MI
9. 36th Annual Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (SWAFS), October 19-23, 2014, South Padre Island, TX
10. Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists, October 20-24, 2014, Rohnert Park, CA
11. Annual DNA & Investigators Workshopâ€“ Bode Mid-Atlantic, November 3-6, 2014, Crystal City, VA
12. Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientist (NEAFS) Annual Meeting, November 3-6, 2014, Hershey, PA
13. AAFS 67th Annual Scientific Meeting, February 16-21, 2015, Orlando, FL
1. American Academy of Forensic Science
2. American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
3. California Association of Criminalists
4. International Association of Forensic Toxicologists
5. New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
6. New York City Poison Control Center
7. Zeno's Forensic Site
8. Southern Association of Forensic Scientists
9. Society of Forensic Engineers and Scientists
10. Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists
11. The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists
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This page was last updated on March 4, 2024