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What is forensic science?

What is forensic science?

The video opens by reminding you that in this course, we have presented only a selective snap-shot of forensic science, and one that is shaped by the need to deliver to a wide range of interests and scientific abilities in the class.

The subject matter of this course is “Forensic Science” and the name implies different things to different people – to some calling it “science” implies that it is absolute, to others it implies mumbo-jumbo and we will look a little at the philosophical basis for these perspectives.

The answer, of course, is in the process used – the scientific method, and you are encouraged to read the material on the History and Philosophy of Science, and the beautifully written paper by Isaac Asimov which we have placed in the ‘downloads’ and ‘see also’ resource sections at the bottom of the page.

We revisit the investigative tools that were introduced in week 1, beginning with CoPRRR, and discuss how what we have seen ranges from visual and subjective examinations, to black-box analyses founded on some fairly advanced technologies and capable of producing quite objective data. We will also reflect on the 6Ws tool looking at its origins (all the way back to Roman times) as a device to unearth the truth.

The video closes with a graphic showing how the steps in a good crime scene investigation mirror those of a good scientific experiment.

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Introduction to Forensic Science

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