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It's not all CSI

Forensic Science is not like the movies or like the popular television show CSI.  Here are some myths and facts about Forensic Science.

 

CSI
 
Real Life Forensic Scientist
  • One person does a little of everything (investigate, interrogate, collect evidence, arrest people, analyze evidence)
 
  • Police officers do crime scene investigation, interrogations, arrests
  • Forensic scientists are IN THE LAB analyzing the evidence
  • Analysis of evidence is completed in minutes
  • Results are always clear and definite
 
  • Analysis may take hours, days, weeks, or months
  • Results need interpretation of a skilled scientist
  • No messy paperwork to fill out
 
  • LOTS of paperwork and report-writing required
  • Forensic scientists respond to all crime scenes
 
  • Rarely go to crime scenes
     
  • Cool Hummer vehicles and all the latest equipment is available
 
  • Most labs are state-funded, and budgets are often tight
     
  • All alternate lighting is blue
 
  • Need good full-spectrum lighting
  • Dress in stylish clothing
 
  • Conservative, professional dress and appearance required for court session
  • Workplace attire appropriate for a laboratory setting
  • Characters have degrees in chemistry, biology, or other sciences
 
  • Challenging college course work in chemistry, biology, physics and math are needed to get the degree that will let you work in a crime lab
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