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17 Things Forensic Scientists Want You To Know

Looking through a bucket of vomit for traces of semen is a thankless task.

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3. We don't cut up dead bodies.

Autopsies are done by the forensic pathologist, who will then write up a report that gets passed to a forensic scientist.

4. We don't spend a ton of time at crime scenes.

Instagram: @leighhubner

Scenes of crime officers, known as socos, are specially trained police officers who spend their days at crime scenes, looking for any evidence and carefully packing it up.


9. Forensic scientists don't tend to do ALL THE THINGS.

Instagram: @shollyy / Via UC Davis's Forensic Science Program & Forensic Science Student Organization

On TV forensic scientists tend to be masters of all. But in reality people specialise in one area – such as textiles, toxicology, bodily fluids, or ballistics.

11. All evidence is sent back to the police after we're done with it.

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These used to be held by the forensics provider, but now once a case is over all of the exhibits and anything recovered from them for analysis are returned to the police force.


14. We can't always say with certainty the exact circumstances leading to a piece of evidence.

No matter how much we want to be able to.

17. And when your work helps someone, it means all that time and effort was worth it.

It doesn't get better than knowing you could help get to the bottom of a case, or even save an innocent person from jail.

With thanks to Dr Kelly Sheridan, senior lecturer in forensic science at Northumbria University.