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What is Forensic Scientists do?

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What is Forensic Scientists do?

10,Feb 2024

Traditionally, police use to investigate the cases based on the witnesses and physical evidence found from the crime site only. But as criminals are becoming advanced and using scientific techniques for committing crimes, the police are also adopting new measures for their investigation. And here Forensic Scientists come into the picture.

Forensic Scientists use science to identify criminals and analyze the evidence obtained from the crime scene. These people play a major role in modern investigation as they help in determining the facts that can be presented as evidence against the culprit in a court of law. Though they are not officially in the legal system still they play a crucial role in delivering justice to the victims. Here in this blog, we have mentioned the jobs and responsibilities of a forensic scientist.

What Does A Forensic Scientist Do?

People often get confused about the job roles of forensic scientists and assume them to be those scientists who do inventions. But it should be clear that these professionals are completely different. Instead of sharing many basic features, there are a lot of differences between the two. Forensic experts examine and analyze the evidence and submit the findings as legal evidence to the court of law.

The job responsibilities of a forensic scientist are given below:

1. Visit And Examine Crime Scene:

They visit the crime sites and examine them to get evidence. They pay attention to every minor and major detail of the site and take everything they find important enough to have the potential of being evidence along with them. They accompany the police in the investigation of the cases and being the expert in their field police ask for their opinion.

2. Carry Out Tests:

These people primarily look for the evidence followed by their examination to find the relevant proof associated with the crime. These tests include organic and inorganic material associated with crime or found at the crime site and can be treated as evidence. Things that these people test and analyze are mentioned below:

  • Human body fluids like blood, urine, etc.
  • Fingerprint analysis.
  • Hair and Saliva for DNA detection.
  • Threads or pieces of clothing which has a connection with the crime site, criminal, or the victim.
  • Glass fragments, paints, wooden materials, or any such thing found at the crime scene, paint and glass fragments.
  • The marks of the vehicle tyres.
  • Flammable substances.
  • Handwriting Patterns.
  • Drugs and poison.

3. Sketch Crime Scenes:

These people sketch the crime sites to get a better understanding of what could have happened hence to conclude the case precisely. Instead of having professional cameras and the associated equipment, they prefer handmade diagrams as sketches help in providing additional context to the evidence. These scientists use four types of crime sketching namely floor plan, elevation drawing, detailed drawing, and 3-D drawing.

  • Floor Plan: This drawing offers a bird’s eye view of the crime scene.
  • Elevation Drawing: This drawing offers a view of the vertical plane of the crime scene.
  • Detailed Drawing: This drawing combines the floor plan and elevation to create a more detailed view of the crime site.
  • 3-D Drawing: As the name suggests, it gives a three-dimensional perspective to the crime site.

4. Photographing Crime Sites:

Have you noticed people taking pictures of evidence, crime scenes, and dead bodies in movies or web shows? These people are forensic scientists. The photographs clicked by these experts play an important role in case solving as they help in remembering the evidence collected and give a view of what has happened at the scene. They take pictures of substances like:

  • Buildings,
  • Dead body,
  • Wounds on the body,
  • Weapon used for crime,
  • Foot Marks,
  • Tyre impressions, etc.

5. Analyze The Evidence:

After collecting the evidence they take them to the laboratories and examine them. They use a wide variety of techniques like chromatography, electron microscopy, spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, and genetic fingerprinting to analyze the evidence. For example, they conduct DNA testing to identify whether the person who died is the same one they got the missing complaint of or not. In cases of severe damage caused to the corpse, they conduct a face reconstruction process to identify the person who died. They conduct Narco and brain mapping tests to identify whether the culprit is telling the truth or not. They use an Automated Fingerprint Identification System to examine the fingerprints. Along with this they also try to identify the type of drugs or poison used in the murder of the victim.

6. Collaborate With External Agencies:

They collaborate with other professional agencies and police to acquire relevant evidence and hence make inferences for the case. They take the opinion of professionals concerned with their field as it helps them in analyzing the case more efficiently. For example, they take help from forensic odontologists to identify the bite marks as they are experts in this field.

7. Testify In The Court:

These people provide the results of their examinations as proof and present them in a court of law. They act as advisor to the legal people who need their expertise in the case. Along with this being the experts in their fields, they testify to defend the victim or to support the case against the culprit in the court. In their testimonials, they give a scientific perspective to the findings of the case thus help in the investigation.

8. Conduct Autopsies:

These people conduct autopsies to determine how and when the person died. They examine the body fluids of the dead and analyze the cause that led to the death. For example, in some cases, they perform blood tests to determine whether any drug was injected into the body or it was just an overdose of drugs taken intentionally by the deceased.

9. Recover Data From Electronic Equipment:

When a person goes missing or is dead, the first thing that police do is collect the mobile phone, laptop, and computer of that person. They do so because our personal information is saved in our electronic equipment. And it becomes easy for the police to trace the links of murder or kidnapping through social media and other applications. In cases, when the phones or laptops are found damaged these people recover the data that helps in the investigation.

10. Keeping the Records:

Have you ever wondered how the police trace victims or the criminals through fingerprints? These people record the information gathered of both the victim and the culprit in specialized software. In the future whenever they wish to trace a person they just compare their prints with the recorded ones.

Tools Used by Forensic Scientists:

To help the police in investigations Forensic Scientists use a wide variety of specialized tools to trace the evidence and examine the crime scenes. These tools are highly specialized and hence give precise readings of every test. Some of these tools are given below:

  • Spectrometers: It is used to see evidence that is not visible through the naked eye, for example, fingerprints on glass, utensils, and wooden stuff.
  • High powered microscopes: It is used to trace tiny evidence left behind at the crime site or on the victim’s body. For example, hair, fragments, fibers, and gunshot residue are examined through this microscope.
  • Chromatographs: This technique is used in forensics to identify the presence of compounds found in the evidence collected from the crime scene. For example, Gas chromatography is used to identify the traces of drugs, poison, or alcohol ingested by the deceased person just before the death.
  • CAD software: Through this software, forensic scientists can produce an accurate 3-D image of a crime scene and evidence retrieved from the site to get a better understanding of it. Through this technique, it becomes quite easy for the experts and the police to defend their case by presenting relevant evidence in the court of law.
  • DNA sequencing: It is done to compare the DNA samples collected from the crime site with the people associated with the crime hence to make conclusions about the case.
  • Immuno-chromatography: This technique is used to detect the body fluids in the stain. For example, it detects the blood stains found on substances present at the crime scene.
  • Evidence collection kits: Experts use these kits to collect the evidence without disturbing their original form.
  • Professional Cameras: These cameras offer high-resolution pictures hence giving an insight into the crime.
  • Footprint lifters: Through this technique, the experts can get the evidence in their original form and can preserve the impressions.

Employers of Forensic Scientists:

The demand for forensic experts is high these days and hence these experts have a lot of available options. Experts can choose where they wish to work depending on their interests. Some of the top employers of forensic experts are given below:

  • Private consultancies,
  • Government and private laboratories.
  • Universities and colleges.
  • Government departments like Defense and Science and Technology,
  • Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


  • https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/forensic-scientist-job-description
  • https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/forensic-scientist
  • https://www.gcu.edu/blog/engineering-technology/what-does-forensic-scientist-do
  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/reasons-to-become-forensic-scientist

Frequently Asked Question:

What is the role of forensic experts in a court of law?
These experts are required to appear in court and testify to defend the victim or to present supporting evidence against the culprit.
Do forensic scientists work in the laboratories only?
No, it is not true. Apart from working in the laboratories, these experts visit the crime scenes and investigate the evidence obtained from there.
What are the items that forensic experts examine?
Though there are so many items that these experts examine some of them are fingerprints, hair, saliva, semen, paints, glass, tyre mark, firearms, etc.
Who recruits forensic scientists?
The scope of forensics is increasing and hence their demand in the companies is also increasing. These people are recruited by police departments, universities, private detective agencies, government science and technology labs, etc.
How do police identify the cause of death?
Sometimes the cause of death is evident but in some cases, it is not that easy. In such cases to ensure the cause, police take the help of forensic experts as they perform autopsies and other tests to identify the cause of death.
What do forensic experts do?
These experts analyze the crime sites, examine the evidence, and perform various tests to identify the actual culprit like the Narco test, etc.