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Lecture 1, Part 1 – What is Forensic Science?
o Key methods of individuation used in forensic science
o Critical thinking about forensic science and legal issues in forensics
o The forensic mindset
o Crime scene recovery methods with emphasis on forensic archaeology
o The use of anthropological/odontological methods and DNA to
identify individuals (both victims and suspects)
o Why the restricted emphasis?
Time (half course)
Nepotism: it is an anthropology course
Bone and tooth analyses are the cornerstones of cold
cases and mass disaster analyses and DNA is the
cornerstone of forensic biology
Forensic Science Motto:
o “We speak for the dead to protect the living”
o To make an individual
o To give individuality to a person
o In forensics, to use biological evidence to reconstruct the identity of a
What is Forensic Science?
o Definition: The application of science to those criminal and civil laws
that are enforced by police agencies in the criminal justice system
What is the role of the forensic scientist?
o Help interpret the physical evidence left at a crime scene
o Physical evidence is any micro or macroscopic object that can
establish that a crime has been committed or can provide a link
between a crime and its victim and/or perpetrator
Physical Evidence and Methods of Individuation
o Direct: human remains and or body fluids
Bones and teeth
o Indirect: aspects that can point indirectly to a person
Locard’s Principle, circa 1928