Hooked to the Dexter, CSI Miami or True Detective? Well, this one’s just for you, then!
Forensic Science is a field that is yet to pick up in the country. The study deals with the application of science to criminal and civil laws, making this field one that provides a vast range of opportunities. Forensic scientists help solve crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence and other facts found at the scene. They specifically analyze fingerprints, blood, semen, firearms, saliva, and drugs, and may also reconstruct skeletal bones. In addition, forensic scientists write reports, preserve evidence, testify in court, and discuss evidence collection with attorneys and law enforcement personnel.
The basic requirement for this profession is taking up science.
The various fields one can get into in this profession include:
1. Forensic Psychology:
This field of forensics is where the study of psychology meets the law. Forensic psychologists work within the criminal justice system to assess the mental health of individuals who have been charged with a crime. They may be asked to determine if a suspect is competent to stand trial or make recommendations regarding an offender’s sentencing or treatment. Forensic psychologists regularly interact with attorneys and judges, and they’re frequently called on to offer expert testimony in civil and criminal proceedings.
2. Forensic Pathology:
The field is where the forensic pathologist determines how and why the victim died. Pathologists perform autopsies and using their findings to pinpoint the cause and manner of death. Autopsies may be performed in cases where foul play is suspected or when the death is unusual or sudden. In addition to performing an autopsy, a forensic pathologist may also travel outside the lab to inspect the crime scene. Forensic pathologists typically work closely with other forensic science specialists, such as forensic odontologists, who use dental records to identify human remains, or forensic toxicologists, who analyze blood and tissue samples to detect the presence of drugs, alcohol, or other chemicals.
3. Forensic Anthropology: Under this study Forensic Anthropologists study human remains that are severely decomposed. They primarily focus on the study of the human skeleton to find clues regarding the individual’s identity, determine the cause of death, and/or uncover evidence of a crime.
4. Crime Scene Investigation:
Crime scene investigation is all about documenting the scene of the crime. It is the job of the crime scene investigator to carefully comb the crime scene for the nitty gritty , taking photos, looking for hair, blood, fibers, fingerprints, bullet fragments, and other pieces of evidence that might point to a suspect or help to formulate a theory of what events took place. Crime scene investigators are generally police officers and may have little to no scientific training. Once the crime scene investigators document the scene and collect useful evidence, it is taken to the lab to be analyzed by another party.
Criminalists have strong science backgrounds, usually in chemistry, biology, or related subjects. They analyse physical evidence in the crime lab, including hair, fibers, gunshot residue, arson accelerants, and body fluids such as blood or saliva (for DNA testing). It is important for them to be familiar with a broad array of instrumentation and scientific techniques, and be able to present and explain complicated scientific evidence to a jury.
6. Forensic Nursing: This field of forensics comes into focus when individuals could be victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse, domestic assault, child abuse, or other types of trauma. They’re responsible for collecting blood and hair samples, DNA, and other evidence.
These are the broad categories. There are several categories within these categories that one can specialise in.
Apart from science, some knowledge about law and criminology can help you while pursuing this profession.
There are very few institutes in India that offer you a degree in Forensic Science, LNJN , Gujarat Forensic Science University, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Amity Institute of Forensic Science, Osmania University(Hyderabad) are a handful of them.
While pursuing this degree one will be dealing with subjects like pattern evidence, chemical evidence, biological evidence, firearm and ammunition, human anatomy and physiology etc.