I don’t know if it’s the ribbed tank tops, the stiletto heels, Catherine Willow’s racy comments, Warrick Brown’s smooth baritone or Sarah Sidle’s comely gap-toothed smile, but the cast of CSI manages to make forensic science cool. Who knew scraping dried blood off a shag carpet could be so hip, so glamorous?
In recent years, largely as a result of CSI‘s popularity, enrollment in forensic programs has tripled. However, students who aspire to be like Gil Grissom are in for a big surprise. Forensic science isn’t nearly as sexy as it is on TV (most crime scene techs are covered from head to toe in protective jumpsuits). It isn’t as infallible as CSI would have us believe either. Scientists make mistakes, samples get degraded and fingerprint matches are often incorrectly identified.
CSI, like most forensic science dramas, combines the jobs of at least five professionals into one super investigator. On CSI, an investigator works a case from crime scene to courtroom. He or she collects evidence from a crime scene, processes that evidence in the laboratory, testifies in court, and even interviews witnesses and interrogates suspects.
In reality, lab technicians rarely work in the field and medical examiners almost never visit crime scenes. A real forensic scientist spends the vast majority of the workday wearing a white lab coat, poring over minuscule samples and analyzing data.
Disappointed? Don’t be. Who knows what’s lurking under those lab coats…for all we know it could be tank tops and stiletto heels.
—FioPost Categories: Fun with ForensicsTags: blake, cat, court, courtroom, csi, csi effect, durst, dwyer, fio, forensics, Fun with Forensics, jure, jury, law and order, legal, media, prosecutors, trial, tv
True Stories of Law & Order series authors Kevin Dwyer and Juré Fiorillo weigh in on crime, justice, and their favorite television show.