Today, we are seeing a growth in the popularity of the forensic science field, and the number of graduates of various branches of the field is increasing day by day. If you are an eager student considering this area of study, you should get familiar with this widespread field. In this paper, you will read detailed information about criminal and forensic science major.
What is Forensic Science?
As a word, forensic science is referred to the Latin word “forensis” meaning public discussion. In ancient Rome, there was a marketplace in which people conducted governmental debates or used it as courts of law.
In 1659, the word forensic was added to the English vocabulary. Its modern meaning is referred to the legal and criminal investigations.
As a term, forensic science is defined with law enforcement, public health, criminal laws and criminal justice. Forensic science programs will educate you how to find clues of the crime. This science helps to understand what occurred, how it occurred and when it occurred. In fact, forensic science is about collecting, examining and analyzing the physical evidence of the crime scene.
The Brief History of Forensic Science
The history of forensic science was begun in the 700s A.D. The Chinese found that every human has unique fingerprints.
The first recorded book about solution of crime was published in 1248. This Chinese book named Hsi DuanYu (the Washing Away of Wrongs) described how to differ drowning symptoms from strangulation symptoms.
In 1800s, scientists found blood test, using toxicology, crystal test for hemoglobin, use of photography, developing microscope and etc. in a forensic context.
In 1892, Sir Francis Galton invented the first system for categorizing fingerprints. After, Sir Edward Henry developed fingerprint system in 1896 which today is a standard for fingerprinting systems.
Henry Goddard was the first person who used bullet and compared it to the murder weapon in 1835. And thereafter, many attempts were made to complete the bullet and gunshot examination.
Early, at that time, there was no school, institute, university, collage or academy for forensic science training. All the people who were eager to learn this field were self-taught. In 1902, Professor R. A. Reiss took the first steps towards academic training of forensic science. In 1950, the first university of criminology and AAFS was established. Bernard Spilsbury was a pathologist who worked on the field of crime reconstruction and due to his attempts he is known as a father of forensic science.
Finally, according to all the efforts made until the 20st century, the idea about creating specific and professional team with specialized equipment came to mind to test the remains of evidence in the crime scene. Edmond Locard was the pioneer to this idea. He established the first police crime laboratory in France in 1910. Edmond Locard was the father of criminalistics. In 1924, August Vollmer, police chief of California, set up the first American police crime laboratory.
Categories of Forensic Science
The AAFS (American Academy of Forensic Sciences) introduced the types of forensic science into the following category:
- Forensic Biology
- Forensic Psychiatry and behavior science
- Forensic Toxicology
- Forensic Anthropology
- Trace Evidence Analysis
- Forensic Psychology
- Forensic Podiatry
- Forensic Pathology
- Forensic Optometry
- Forensic Odontology
- Forensic Linguistics
- Forensic Geology
- Forensic Entomology
- Forensic Engineering
- Forensic DNA Analysis
- Forensic Botany
- Forensic Archeology
- Digital Forensics
In some cases, other filed can be useful in solving a case. For instance, entomologists (insect scientists), botanists (plant scientists) or computer science can be assist police to solve the case by the help of insects, plants or digital data in the scene.
Forensic Science Major
Forensic science majors contain science and criminal justice. In this field, students learn to gather, store and analyze physical evidence such as blood, hair, DNA, fingerprints, fibers and etc. to solve the case.
Crime scene investigator examines the crime scene and gathers all the forensic evidence related to the crime such as hair, blood sample and fingerprint in order to specify their relation in criminal investigations.Forensic scientist analyzes the samples which crime scene investigator delivered to criminal lab. For this purpose you have to attend the forensics school courses including forensic science academy, forensic anthropology, forensic biology, biology, or chemistry; criminal justice or general studies with coursework in forensics. You can participate in forensics training in California and learn whatever you need to become a forensic scientist. For more information, you can click on the link below.
Another point is that this field of study is not related to just murder cases. It is also used to confirm the committing crime.
Degree programs in Forensic Science Academy
There are more than 50 colleges and universities in the United States which students can study bachelor’s degree in criminal and forensic science for 4 years. Besides, there are some other colleges that students can study in the technical aspects of forensic science (such as lab analysis) for 2 years.
Students can attend the forensics school for forensics training purposes and get their forensic science degree. You can participate in forensics training in California and learn whatever you need to become a forensic scientist.
What job opportunities are available for individual with a graduate degree in the forensic sciences?
There are a wide range of job opportunities for anyone who graduated from master’s level forensic science programs. They can employ in the public and private sectors. For example, they can work in crime laboratory, military facilities, academic centers and etc. in addition, they can also work for research and development laboratory or even continue studying in PhD and professional doctoral programs.