Skip to main content

Forensic Science for Healthcare Professionals

Careers in Forensic Science (Guide to your Forensic Career)


Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles in terms of LAW for the purpose of Justice. Whenever, we apply science to solve a legal problem it becomes forensic science. For instance, you encountered a red stain on the carpet. The first question that comes to your mind "Oh is this blood"? Now to answer this question you require number of scientific methods:


1. Whether it is Blood or Not?
2. If it is blood, then whether an Animal blood or Human blood?
3. If animal, then which species or which animal?
4. If human, then what is the blood group, male or female, DNA identification etc.

In the above example, we need a bit if chemistry (to test whether it is blood or not), bit of biology (species origin test, antigen-antibody reaction, DNA) and some time bit of physics (to identify the source and force applied).

There are various branches of forensic science including some very edge cutting:

1. Forensic Toxicology: Deals with the Analysis of the toxins (poisons) etc.

2. Forensic Pathology: Forensic pathologists determines the cause of death, manner of death, nature of injuries during medical examination (post-mortem).

3. Forensic Odontology: Application of dental science for legal investigations. A single tooth can be utilized to identify the individual.

4. Forensic Linguistics: Also known as language to the law. It is the application of linguistic knowledge and analytical methods to the forensic context of law.

5. Forensic Geology: Also called as Geo-forensics, is the study of evidence encountered beneath the earth like minerals, oil, petroleum, objects, dead bodies, fossils etc and used to answer questions raised by the legal system.

6. Forensic Entomology: Study of the different species of insects (arthropods) and their life cycles on the dead bodies or decomposed bodies to determine the time since death.

7. Forensic Engineering: Is the study of engineering principles to the investigation of failures or other performance problems like plane crash, building collapse, bridge collapse etc.

8. DNA Profiling: Also named as DNA Fingerprinting and is one of the major branch of Forensic Science, deals with the extraction, isolation, identification and comparison of DNA from the body fluids and other biological matter.

9. Forensic Psychology: A very broad area and the application of psychological parameters in the legal system. Used for criminal profiling, court procedures, corrective measures, preventive forensics etc.

10. Forensic Archaeology: It is the field of forensic science which involves application of archaeological methods in the investigation of a crime to identify the related evidences and to reconstruct crime scene. Forensic archaeologist are employed to excavate and recover human remains, personal items, weapons, etc.

11. Forensic Anthropology: It deals with the study of skeletal remains of humans and animals. It answers number of questions related to a piece of bone or complete skeleton. Basically deals with the procedure of identification and individualization on the basis of skeletal remains.

12. Digital Forensics: Digital Forensics is characterized as the method that can be used by the court of law to store, locate, extract and record computer evidence.

13. Forensic Ballistics: Deals with the study of firearm and related evidences in a shooting incident. A forensic ballistic expert is required to identify the type of firearm used, range of firing, direction of firing, link the suspected firearm with the incident etc.

14. Forensic Biology: Application of biology to equate a person(s), whether suspect or victim, with another person (victim or suspect, respectively) in a venue, object (or set of items).

15. Forensic Chemistry: In order to identify the unidentified materials and match specimens to recognized substances, forensic chemists examine non-biological trace evidence (Chemical) collected at crime scenes. They also uses various instrumental techniques like chromatography, mass spectrometry, atomic absorption spectroscopy, FTIR and others to identify and quantify these true materials. 

16. Forensic Physics: It deals with a combination of ballistics, explosives, blood splatters, the measurement of density, index of refraction, and birefringence, force of impact, voice analysis, audio-video analysis etc.

17. Forensic Photography: Forensic photography, sometimes referred to as documentation of the crime scene, is an event that documents the initial appearance of the crime scene and physical evidence to provide the courts with a permanent record. A forensic photographer is always required to be on the scene and off the scene at various stages of investigation. 

18. Forensic Sculpting: Forensic sculptors combine artistic talent with anatomy knowledge to assist the identification of law enforcement. Sculptors may perform facial reconstructions on unknown remains or use techniques of age-progression to build missing people's bust.

19. Questioned Document Analysis: A questioned document examiners deals with the identification and examination of handwriting, signature frauds, fake currency, fake passports and many other such matters in legal investigations. It is the most commonly used branch of forensic science in current scenario due to increase number of cheque frauds, will/property frauds etc.

20. Dactyloscopy or Fingerprinting: Comparison of fingerprints, development and lifting of latents (hidden) fingerprints on the crime scene and on other objects, collection of impression evidences is the very crucial task dealt by the investigators.

There're many more branches like nano-forensics, tele-forensics, wildlife forensics, proactive forensics, IoT forensics etc. 

Career Options in Forensic Science:


You can be a

  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • An Evidence Collector
  • A Forensic Photographer
  • Crime Lab Analyst
  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Toxicologist
  • DNA Forensic Expert
  • Fingerprint Expert
  • Questioned Document Examiner
  • Cyber Forensic Expert
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Ballistic Expert
  • Forensic Auditor
  • Forensic legal advisor for the court of law and lawyers
  • Forensic Biologists
  • Environmental Forensic Expert
  • Document Analyser
  • Fraud Investigator
  • Forensic Lecturer or Professor
  • Researcher
  • Forensic Instrumentation Technician and so on.
Research writing




For more queries, ask me at sharmabk81@gmail.com 
By
Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma (B K Sharma)
Forensic Expert and Associate Professor
Forensic Science.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Crime Scene Search Methods

The Crime Scene is search for the physical evidences (visible or invisible). There are various types of search methods employed by the investigating officers and the forensic scientists at the scene of crime. The searching methods mainly depends on: Type of Crime (Rape, murder, burglary, theft, etc.) Nature of Crime (Homicide, suicide, or accident) Size of the crime scene (macroscopic or microscopic) Location of the crime scene (indoor, outdoor, combination of indoor or outdoor, or any remote area like underwater, desert, etc.) Complexity of the crime scene  Before deciding the search method, all the investigators and the forensic experts must follow the general guidelines (check list) to observe the crime scene after due recording: 1. Are the doors and windows locked or unlocked? Open or shut?  2. Are there signs of forced entry, such as tool marks or broken locks? 3. Is the house or the crime scene is in good order? If not, do

Introduction to Forensic Ballistics

By Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma Forensic Expert & Associate Professor Introduction to Ballistics: The term ballistics refers to the science of study of the action, motion and  behaviour  of a projectile during its flight in any given medium. The flight path of a bullet includes:  • Travel down the barrel  (Internal Ballistics), • Path through the air  (External Ballistics),  and  • Path through a target  (Terminal Ballistics) Forensic Ballistics: Is that branch of forensic science which deals with the examination of the firearm and related evidences encountered at the scene of crime in a shooting incident, and their linkage to the firearm, and Identification of the shooter. A ballistic expert need to answer the following questions: 1. Type of The Firearms used 2. Identification of the Firearm 3. Individual Characteristics of Firearm 4. Range of Firing 5. Direction of Firing 6. Identification of the Shooter 7. Medico legal aspects: - Suic

Blood Spatter Analysis

What is Blood Spatter Analysis? Blood Spatter Analysis or Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA) is the examination of bloodstain shapes, locations, and distribution patterns, to provide an interpretation of the physical events that gave rise to their origin. In forensic investigations, it is ubiquitous to encounter blood on the crime scene. This blood can be in the form of a pool, dried stains, spatter, expirated blood, etc. Hence, the investigators are required to understand these bloodstains to interpret the events that have occurred on the crime scene, to create a possible hypothesis of the modus operandi, to identify the type of weapon, the direction of the blow, severity of the injury, applicable forces, etc. This whole interpretation is known as Blood Pattern Analysis or Blood Spatter Analysis. What are the Types of Blood Patterns? There are many classifications given by blood spatter analyst around the world. I will be using the most common here, to make it understand in