Forensic Science and its Growing Popularity
People all around the world are becoming interested in forensic science. Students across the nation are taking courses in this very popular science. Many colleges are adopting classes and majors just for it. Why has this science become so popular? Is it because of the lack of people in the field now, and the overwhelming job opportunities that come with a degree in forensic science? Is it because the field is so interesting, and catchy that everyone is flooding to be in the programs? Or is the recent growth of this field due to the numerous television and media coverage of the subject? One thing is for sure, people really are starting to get interested in this field, and it is getting bigger by the second.
Forensic science, what is it exactly? Forensic Science is any aspect of any area of science that could be called into question in a court of law, as it relates to the law (http://home.earthlink.net/~thekeither/Forensic/forsone.htm). There are different areas of forensic science, and different jobs that people do. There is the crime scene investigator, as shown in the hit television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. They search a crime scene, collect evidence, tag/bag evidence, and analyze it. Forensic photographers take pictures at crime scenes. Forensic psychiatry and profiling is where you diagnose and treat people with mental illnesses, and where you make a personality profile of the criminal from gathering information from the crime scene. And firearms and toolmark identification, another type of forensics, is matching bullets to guns, explosives, and other weapons. These are just a few of the many different positions and jobs out there that deal with forensic science (http://home.earthlink.net/~thekeither/Forensic/forsone.htm).
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Just about everyone has seen this show. It deals with crimes, and the process of collecting clues and analyzing them to figure out the crime, who did it, and how. “About 80 percent of this phenomenon can be summed up in tree letters: ‘CSI’, says Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Center for the Study of Popular Television. ‘The show has been so successful that all manner of people are borrowing from it. One of the things that makes it unique is that it has this kind of biological specificity. It’s not like slasher gore, it’s more like what you’d see if you were president of the science club. It’s Quentin Tarantino merged with science class” (Frey, 2004 p. N.01). With shows like this on the air, many people are being exposed to this science. From things like DNA samples of blood, or even a piece of hair, to fingerprints, and carbon samples. Everyone loves this kind of stuff, and so do the production companies producing these shows. Cataloni told The Washington Post that one crew has given the show a laser ablation ICP-MS. This is a laser that can vaporize part of a tiny sample so its...