What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science has a very high profile on TV and across the media in general. This profile includes both real world references to forensic science in such programs as The First 48, and fictional references to forensic science most notably in shows such as CSI, CSI Miami etc.

However, since this very high profile, the question "What is Forensic Science" is an extremely common search engine phrase (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask etc).

What this shows, I think it's fair to say, is that many people have a general idea of ​​what forensic science is but they would struggle to come up with a definite definition. The following information is presented with this very much in mind.


From the Latin 'Forensis', meaning forum, specifically the Imperial Court of Rome.


The systematic formulation of knowledge based on observation, experiment & induction. Science is organized knowledge (Immanuel Kant).

Forensic Science

Forensic science is really just science used in court
(Allan Jamieson, Director of the Forensic Institute, Edinburgh, UK)

Any science, used for the purposes of the law, is a forensic science. (American Academy of Forensic Sciences)

In essence then, forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge in a legal context.

Sources of Scientific Knowledge

There are many sources of scientific knowledge applied in a legal context. These Include:

  • Chemistry
  • Pathology
  • Toxicology
  • Dentistry
  • Anthropology
  • Engineering

The Forensic Scientist

By definition, a person who applies scientific knowledge in a legal context is a forensic scientist.

If you would like to find out more about the fascinating world of forensic science, you can do so by visiting the website http://www.all-about-forensic-science.com

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