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Forensic Science: The Science of Crime

Hey everyone! My name is Kaylee, and this is my first time posting. In this post, I will discuss forensic science, which I'm interested in and plan to study in college!

What is Forensic Science?

  • Forensic science, according to Google, is the "use of scientific methods or expertise to investigate crimes or examine evidence that might be presented in a court of law." But what exactly does that mean? Because the term "forensic" refers to anything related to the law, any science applied for that purpose is considered a forensic science. Thanks to technical developments, forensic science assists law enforcement, prosecutors, and other authorities in addition to helping them solve crimes and serve the general public.

A. (2023, July 26). What is Forensic Science? | Anthroholic. Anthroholic.

Careers in Forensic Science

  • You probably saw the title and thought, "Anyone who works in forensic science is a forensic scientist," and you'd be correct. However, forensic science is also used in other careers. An arson investigator is one example. Their job is to investigate a fire scene, using forensic science to determine where the fire started and if it was accidental or intentional.

  • A Certified Fraud Examiner, or CFE, is another example. As part of their work, they examine financial data to look for signs of fraud, resulting in the need for forensic science. They also examine financial records to determine if they are fraudulent.

  • My final example is a DNA Analyst, which is my career goal. Their task is to examine human samples collected from crime scenes and compare them to the DNA of the suspect. Because this job is performed in a lab (particularly a crime lab), they rarely visit crime scenes. However, they may be called to testify in court regarding their findings.

McKay, D. R. (2019, August 13). What Does a Forensic Science Technician Do? LiveAbout.

Types of Forensic Science

  • In forensic science, there are as many different categories as there are career paths. However, I'll only cover three of them. Anthropology, which can be defined as the study of human life and death, is one of the key subfields of forensics. Forensic anthropologists work hard to reconstruct as much information about the individual as possible so that they can determine how the person died, the time or date of death, and, in some situations, identify them if their identity is unknown.

  • Criminalistics is another branch of forensic science that focuses on interpreting evidence and connecting it to a suspect. Because not everything collected at a crime scene is related to the incident, criminalists must determine what is relevant and, more importantly, what the evidence reveals about the victim and the offender. Criminalists occasionally have specialized knowledge in a variety of fields, such as DNA, firearms, trace evidence, and more.

  • Lastly, the study of how chemicals affect the human body is known as toxicology. Three areas of specialization exist for forensic toxicologists: post-mortem toxicology (determining the cause of death), human performance toxicology (determining whether an individual was using drugs, alcohol, etc. during a crime), and forensic drug testing (used in workplaces, athletics, and for those on parole).

Africa Forensic Science Network


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