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Science & Crime

The field of forensic science has been the focus of countless television series and films over the past few decades and there is almost certainly a public fascination with murder and solving it. But this is nothing new and has been the case certainly since Victorian times. In this lecture, we will review the history of forensic science, from the publication of The Washing Away of Wrongs in 1235 during Song Dynasty China to Edmond Locard's 20th century 'exchange principle' - "every contact leaves a trace" - via Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper. Forensic science is a multi-faceted subject with many sub-disciplines, from forensic odontology to nuclear forensics, and we will explore areas such as DNA fingerprinting and PCR analysis, forensic neuropathology, forensic neurology and forensic psychiatry. The lecture is suitable for anyone with an interest in crime and the application of science establish sequences of events and guilt. Please be aware that there will be references to violent assault and murder.

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