Forensics is the shortened term for forensic science. The Latin definition of the word is “before a forum", this is because most forensics experts are called upon to present and prove evidences before judges and juries in court litigations. Their testimonies and reports on findings are extremely important in the court procedure, especially when the prosecution’s case hangs solely on evidence.
The term forensics refers to the application of a wide range of knowledge; processes and methods used in the different scientific fields in answering or finding evidence form a crime scene to aid law enforcers to bring the right people to justice. This is where forensic science colleges specialize. People who master in forensics in forensic science colleges mostly begin as laboratory scientists doing research and experiments. They are perhaps lured into the law enforcement side by the more enriching experience of bringing to light the mysterious, the baffling, and almost unsolvable aspects of a crime. They usually have a solid background in chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology.
The police and other government agencies use forensics to collect and process evidences from crime scenes. With all the advancements in technology, forensics have also evolved into more complex processes that can now pinpoint the accurate time and date of death, identify burnt or decomposing bodies, or identify someone from a mere hair, fingernail, or saliva sample. Recent improvements in the equipment used in the laboratories have also helped correct some inaccuracies from the past. Previously convicted suspects are freed because new evidences show they could not have possibly committed a crime. Missing persons are identified from skeletons or even just from skulls.
Lawyers, law enforcers, and journalists sometimes enroll in forensic science colleges to augment their previous disciplines. There are several colleges and universities that offer electives in forensic science. Short courses are also offered online for graduate students. Forensic science students can get degrees in any of the Forensic Science disciplines, including criminalistics, engineering sciences, jurisprudence, odontology, pathology, physical anthropology, behavioral science and psychiatry, questioned documents, and toxicology. A solid background in chemistry or biology is often a plus for candidates.
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