You’ve examined the crime scene, gathered clues, ran lab tests and discovered…it was Professor Plum…with the candlestick…at the Maine Science Festival?
Forensic science is a bit more complicated then a board game. Alicia Wilcox, Assistant Professor at Husson University’s School of Legal Studies, along with her forensic science students, will be setting up a simulated crime scene for festival goers to investigate. Participants will be shown the site and will discover evidence, ask questions, and make suggestions for investigators. For instance, what tests should be done? Do fluid samples need to be stored wet or dry? Should you check for fingerprints or DNA?
Wilcox hopes people will get a more realistic idea of what forensic scientists do. “There are no high heels or Humvees,” she said. Investigators work in all kinds of weather and sometimes in dirty places with biological hazards. They have to be very thorough in their work and sometimes it can be monotonous. The true length of time it takes to process the information investigators gather is one glaring omission from many television shows. Nothing will be solved in 60 minutes. “This is not a glamorous occupation or for thrill-seekers,” Professor Wilcox stated. But if you’re interested in science, have an investigative mind and are a patient person, then jobs in the forensic sciences can lead to a very satisfying career.
There will be two day-long sessions of the Crime Scene Investigation at the Maine Science Festival next month, on March 21 and 22. For more information on times and location, see the schedule at the Maine Science Festival website.