Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Forensics: Solving Mysteries with Science

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Forensics: Solving Mysteries with Science

Article excerpt

Forensic science has ancient roots. Derived from the Latin forensic--"before the forum"--the term dates to Roman times, when criminal charges would be presented before public officials in the forum. Cases were decided in favor of the side presenting the best argument, reasoning, evidence, and rhetorical skill.

From its early roots in Rome to the tales of Sherlock Holmes, books like The Poisoner's Handbook,, popular television dramas like NCIS and CSI, and movies like Minority Report, the analysis of forensic evidence fascinates us. Television, movies, and literature present profiles of compellingly interesting scientists who offer their services to help solve a crime (see our Career of the Month column, pp. 64-65).

Forensic science is both an important part of our criminal justice system and also an avenue for engaging students in the practices of science. Acting as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, a forensics student learns to analyze and interpret data; use mathematics and computational thinking; obtain, evaluate, and communicate information; construct explanations; and engage in argument from evidence.

The forensic sciences--used around the world to resolve civil disputes, enforce criminal laws and government regulations, and protect public health--can provide a career pathway for our students. Careers in forensic science are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in the next decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015).

This issue includes creative ideas for incorporating forensic science in science teaching. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.