'Forensic' is derived from the Latin word forensis meaning 'giving the opportunity for debate'. It has come to mean something which is 'of the law'. By that we mean some activity which has at its core an association with things legal, usually in the form of evidence that can be presented to the court.
Thus, one definition of forensic science is scientific activity that produces evidence for presentation in court. However, it is also the investigation and development of techniques, tests and information-gathering strategies that will help the detectives and those involved in the prosecution. They must put together a case that will 'stand up in court'.
McKenzie, Ian, 1996, Criminal investigation, Wayland, London, p. 5
On our shelves:
- Crime scene: True stories from the life of a forensic investigator
- Encyclopedia of forensic science - From the Facts on File Science Library
- Forensic psychology for dummies
- In Cold blood by Truman Capote
- The Killer of little shepherds: the case of the French ripper & the birth of forensic science
- Taman Shud: The Somerton mystery man
Audio visual resources
On our shelves:
- BBC Quantum - Forensic science
- CSI: Crime scene investigation - Series two: Disc 1 -- Disc 2 -- Disc 3
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- World Book Encyclopedia
Don't forget you will need your user name and password to use these resources.
The CSIRO Science Image Library has an extensive selection of images you can use in your assignments. They are available to download and copy under a Creative Commons licence. You must acknowledge and provide a citation to the CSIRO when you use any of these images.
This database presents a broad range of scientific disciplines through extensive essays, videos, diagrams, definitions, biographies, and experiments.
- Science Online - Facts On File - Access via the link.
- Linda, Geddes 2009,'The body burners', New Scientist, 23rd May 2009, v.202, no.2709, p.32-35.
- Hall, Stephen S 2007,'The last hours of the iceman', National Geographic, 1st July 2007, v.212, no.1, p.66-81.
- Mackenzie, Debra 2006,'Putting a face to a skull', New Scientist, 3rd June 2006, v.190, no.2554, p.26-27.
- Reichert, Cornelia 2008,'Beyond the watery grave', New Scientist, 21st June 2009, v.198, no.2661, p.37-39.
- Rohrig, Brian 2008,'The forensics of blood', Chem Matters, 1st Feb 2008, v.26, no.1, p.4-6.
- Farid, Harry 2008,'The digital image forensics', Scientific America, 6th June 2009, v.298, no.6, p.42-47.
- A simplified guide to forensic science
- ABC Science Online: from fingerprints to DNA
- ABC Splash : Forensic Science
- Australian Geographic: Forensic investigations: Can a fly solve a murder case?
- Australian Museum: Wildlife forensics
- The Conversation - Articles on forensics Australia
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: Crime-scene investigation and forensic science
- The Monthly: Australia's first body farm
- OBerk: Under the magnifying glass - Forensic science
- CSI Lab: Resources
Digital evidence and forensics:
- National Institute of Justice: Digital evidence and forensics
- Norwich University: 5 Steps for conducting computer evidence investigations
- Phys.org: Can we trust digital forensic evidence?
- Australian Government - Australian Institute of Criminology: Recent developments in DNA evidence
- The Conversation: Criminals can't easily edit their DNA out of forensic databases
- Science Learning Hub (New Zealand): Forensics and DNA
- Science Museum (U.K.): What is DNA profiling?
- Crime Museum: Fingerprints
- National Institute of Justice: Fingerprints: An overview
- Scientific American: Finding fingerprints: a forensic science project
Forensic science and terrorist attacks:
- BBC News: US terror blasts: How US forensic scientists examine bombs
- EurekAlert!: BMC develops protocol for preserving forensic evidence after a terrorist attack
- Scientific American: Science after 9/11: How research was changed by the September 11 terrorist attacks
Forensic science cases
- ABC News: Forensic scientists search Wynarka suitcase for DNA to assist in murder investigation
- cNET: Solving the Somerton Man mystery, Australia's most baffling cold case
- Forensic Science Magazine: Cold case death in Australia cracked - by suicide notes
- National Institute of Forensic Science: The Medical Detectives: How pathology helps law solve crime
- New Zealand Herald: Forensic staff unearth the Bali bombing story
- University of Adelaide: Making soil talk: New forensics discipline helps solve major crime
- Forensic Science Degree: How forensics finally caught up with the Green River Killer
- Golden State killer: DNA links ex-USA policeman to cold cases
- Psychonomic Society: Who kidnapped Charles Lindbergh Jr? Forensic handwriting analysis and expertise
- Psychology Today: Terrorism, resentment and the Unabomber. Forensic psychologist Dr. Stephen Diamond revisits the famous Unabomber case.
- Sam Houston University: Forensic scientist works to preserve DNA in natural disasters
- Science Daily: Microbial forensics used to solve the 2001 anthrax attacks