The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

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General Chat > Forensic Scientists Answering Questions

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message 1: by Forensic Outreach (last edited Oct 31, 2014 03:22AM) (new)

Forensic Outreach (forensicfix) | 9 comments Hopefully this is of interest to members of this group!

The public engagement organisation Forensic Outreach (which comprises a team of forensic scientists) will be happy to answer your questions about the accuracy of CSI's depiction in novels and popular media here. We've also got a dedicated group (CASE Academy) on Goodreads in case you're interested.

In any case, there will be a forensic anthropologist, technician and a bodily fluids expert on this thread (and in our group). Fire away :)


message 2: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
First question (and BTW thanks for the invite to join your group): do you take a novel-by novel approach when answering questions?


Forensic Outreach (forensicfix) | 9 comments Hi Nancy,

First, thanks so much for letting us be part of your brilliant group. Unless you feel it would be easier to moderate this differently (assuming the group is interested), we're happy to take questions on an "ask us anything" basis for a very casual, relaxed sort of chat.


message 4: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
You're very welcome. The "relaxed sort of chat" format is perfect. What I was asking though was this: if someone wants to know the forensic realities behind a specific novel he/she is reading, would you be able to answer his/her question?


Forensic Outreach (forensicfix) | 9 comments Yes, certainly. We're able to answer questions on both whether a writer's scenario is accurate - as well as comment on the forensic realities behind novels people are currently reading. In fact, this is something that we've been asked to do several times on an informal basis - and thought the group here would enjoy a dedicated thread.


message 6: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Perfect. Then may I suggest we keep this thread for readers? We also have an authors' corner where you can always start a new thread for the writers in the group. That would work out very nicely for everyone, I think.


Forensic Outreach (forensicfix) | 9 comments Yes, of course! We're happy with that arrangement :)


message 8: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Me too! And I'm sure both camps will be happy with it as well.


message 9: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 571 comments As a reader, I was intrigued with this Post. But nada for a year...


message 10: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (josephmegill) | 14 comments Well let's try anyway. Maybe we can revive the thread.
I have two that come to mind at the moment. Unfortunately neither of which is very scientific.
One, the Scarpetta books call her a medical examiner. Is there any difference between a medical examiner and a forensic scientist? The name I an more familiar with?
And two how much power does the forensic scientist have? Can they go to crime scenes on there own or interview people or check peoples belonging?. Or are they restricted to


message 11: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 571 comments I am only a reader, so I do not know.
However, I DID read that here in the US there is a difference between a Coroner and a Medical Examiner. That some small towns and even States rely on regular MDs to do autopsies when they do not really have the expertise to determine complicated deaths.
Since we have both posted, it will be "bumped" to the top.
My question is more complicated. I have read that some Forensics are under fire..criticized as "junk science" The Dexter-like or CSI blood splatter experts, teeth mark experts are just two.


message 12: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 571 comments BUMP


message 13: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Humphrey (suspensethrill) This is so exciting!!! Just curious, what are the academic path and entry into the forensics field requirements for those who might be interested in this career path?


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