• Question: What do forensic scientists mainly do? :)

    Asked by sarahbrannigan to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Naomi, Shane on 15 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 15 Nov 2012:

      They use scientific methods to help solve crimes. They might do tests on drugs to see what kind of drug it is or use finger prints to identify who was present at the crime scene. They also use animal and plant remains to work out where somebody has been (by finding plant pollen on their clothes that might come from only one particular place) or how long someone has been dead.

      Its very varied, and very interesting.

    • Photo: Aggelos Zacharopoulos

      Aggelos Zacharopoulos answered on 15 Nov 2012:

      they will investigate for even the tiniest amounts of evidence left in a crime scene. The will use a whole array of forensic methods to find blood traces, fibres, skin molecules, foot prints and any other type of physical evidence from the crime scene and connect it to suspects or victims of the crime. Then they will pass the evidence to the police officers who will decide if it is sufficient to take the sucpect(s) of the crime to trial. The forensic scientist may even need to go to court and testify during the trial to help the police secure a conviction.

    • Photo: Naomi Elster

      Naomi Elster answered on 16 Nov 2012:

      Forensic scientists are scientists who use science to work out what happened somewhere there is confusion, or where a crime was committed. This can involve using DNA to determine if person A attacked person B, using their knowledge of physics to work out how a fire was likely to have started – was it arson or an accident – and, of course, trying to work out how, when and where a person was killed. It’s a really interesting branch of science, but you need to understand physics, chemistry and biology very well before you do any training in forensics.

      They mostly investigate crime scenes but they have so much knowledge and their jobs are so varied that it’s impossible to say what they spend most of their time doing while they are working.

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 18 Nov 2012:

      Usually, they use their scientific skills to try and figure out what happened at a crime scene. Some of the things they do are very tricky, and take a lot of training to learn!

      I heard recently about some forensic scientists that specialised in wildlife ‘crime scenes’ to try and look at animal footprints, and hair that the animals ‘left behind’ at the scene to figure out what happened!