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Ruth Simon

on 4 May 2016

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Forensic scientists: a summary
Work Environment
Average salary
REquirements NEEDED for this career
What do Forensic Scientists do?
Forensic Scientists/TEchnicians use scientific principles and methods to analyze material connected with a crime (Physical evidence)
A small number of scientists began using physical evidence in cases in beginning of the 1800s

Before that, criminal trials relied on evidence given by witnesses
Physician Edmond Locard developed a principle central to forensic science in the early 20th century
the Locard Exchange Principle - every contact, no matter how slight, causes a transfer of material (a criminal always leaves some amount of material at a crime scene); for a time, some amount of material will remain on a criminal
Forensic scientists analyze many kinds of physical evidence and may use biology, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, physics, and math in their work.
Types of physical evidence a forensic scientist would analyze:
trace evidence
Controlled substances
forensic scientists mostly work in laboratories analyzing and examining data and physical evidence
Depending on the case, a forensic scientist may be present at the crime scene
a forensic scientist must also often appear in court as an expert witness to justify his/her findings
They may also work in:
Police departments and offices
Crime laboratories
Medical examiner/coroner offices
"Sherlock holmes of france" Edmond Locard
NAtional average: $55,040
Average salary of forensic scientists in:
New Jersey - $50,330
Friction Ridges - designs on the skin of the fingertips formed by small ridges
Fingerprint - the impressions made by these ridges
No two people have the same fingerprints so fingerprints can identify the individuals who were present at a crime scene
Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System - database of the FBI that contains millions of fingerprint records
The demand for Forensic scientist is always going to be high as long as there is still crime in the streets.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2010, there were 13,000 forensic scientists, also known as crime scene investigators or forensic science technicians.

The BLS projects that 2,400 new forensic scientist jobs will be added to the market through 2020, which represents a 19% growth rate.
A minimum of a bachelor's degree in natural science or forensic science is required for working in this field. Some labs might require a master's degree in forensic science for more advanced positions, such as lab technician leader or supervisor.

A master's degree might also be useful for specialized areas, such as DNA analysis or ballistics. Undergraduate programs include biochemistry, toxicology and criminal justice courses. Students are required to participate in extensive lab work and fulfill an internship.
impression - the mark left as a result of an object being pressed onto or against a surface
Examples - footprints, tire track
Scientists examine bullets and cartridges to determine the type and manufacturer of a weapon used in a crime
some guns have a mark in their barrels that leaves unique markings on a bullet as it is fired, making it easier to identify that weapon from a crime
With knives and other utensils of puncture, scientists analyze the stab wound of the victim (size, shape, depth) to determine what weapons could have been used
INdirect Evidence -(Circumstantial evidence) Evidendce that leads to the conclusion that an event occured/ a fact is true but does not conclusively prove the event or fact
Direct evidence -(Tesimonial Evidence) verbal description of of a crime provided by a witness
Class evidence - material common to a group of similar objects
individual evidence - Individual characteristics that are unique to a single person or a specific item that only one person can possess. ex. fingerprints and hair strands
Virginia - $69,860
Illinois - $72,990
California - $67,720
Controlled Substances - drugs and other chemicals whose possesion and use are restricted by law
if a person tests positive for drugs at the scene of a crime, officials deliver the material to a lab so a forensic scientist can confirm the substance
poison - a substance capable of seriously harming or killing an organism if absorbed, ingested, or inhaled
examples - cyanide, Aconite (Wolf's bane), ricin, Dimethylmercury, arsenic
toxicologists - scientists who specialize in chemicals and radiation; they conduct the complex analysis of poisons
presumptive chemical test is used to indicate the presence of blood; Visible blood stains must first be identified as human or animal blood
latent blood stains are revealed with Chemi-luminescent testing
luminol is sprayed on a surface, the reaction with haemoglobin present in blood results in the emission of a pale blue light only visible in darkness
blood stain patterns may also help in recontructing the crime scene
Examples of chemi-luminescence
Trace evidence - any small amount of material resulting from the contact of at least two objects
this includes fibers, glass and metal particles, hair, paint, plant material, gunshot residue, wood, pollen
Source: NATional geographics
famous cases (Both solved and unsolved)
the end
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