Forensics or forensic science is the application of science to questions which are of interest to the legal system. For example, forensic pathology is the study of the human body to determine cause and manner of death. Criminalistics is the application of various sciences to answer questions relating to examination and comparison of biological evidence, trace evidence, impression evidence, drugs and firearms. Forensic odontology is the study of the uniqueness of dentition, and forensic toxicology is the study of drugs and poisons, and their effects on the human body.
Sherlock Holmes, the fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was, in fact, the inspiration for forensic science. The popular television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation depicts a glamorized version of the activities of forensic scientists.
Specialities in forensics include:
- Forensic pathology
- Forensic odontology
- Forensic toxicology
- Canine forensics
- Computer forensics
- Textile forensics
- Forensic entomology
- Forensic palynology
- Forensic engineering
- Forensic accounting
- Forensic psychiatry
- Questioned Document Examination
- Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers Michael Baden, M.D., Former New York City Medical Examiner, and Marion Roach, Simon & Schuster, 2001, ISBN 0-684-86758-3
- Crime Science: Methods of Forensic Detection Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer, University Press of Kentucky, 1999, ISBN 0813120918.