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Forensic Science

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Forensic Science, 9781587654237 (1587654237), Salem Press, 2008

This is a comprehensive reference source on the theory, techniques, and application of the various forensic sciences.The past decade has seen an explosion of interest in the application of scientific techniques to investigations of crime. Television audiences have developed a seemingly insatiable appetite for shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Cold Case that go into the minutiae of how forensic techniques are used to solve crimes. "Forensic Science" examines this subject with a factual approach, while also addressing the kinds of topics that figure prominently in the media and offering up-to-date material in a rapidly changing field.Scope and coverage: "Forensic Science" approaches its subject from multiple directions. One of the primary approaches is from the points of view of forensic investigators. In addition to its core essays on subspecialties and allied fields, the set has essays on specific types of investigations, such as arson, homicide, and computer crime; both general and specific investigative techniques, such as autopsies, ballistics, chromatography, crime scene photography, fingerprint analysis, and polygraph analysis; specialized equipment, such as bomb and nuclear detection devices; and types of evidence, such as fire debris, fibers and filaments, glass, and blood residue and stains.A second broad approach taken by "Forensic Science" is its coverage of the role of forensic science in the American legal system. The set includes brief articles on some of the most important federal legislation applying to controlled substances, such as the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914, and the Anabolic Steroid Act of 1990.A third broad approach taken by "Forensic Science" - and one that should have a wide appeal to many readers - is its extensive coverage of specific historical subjects. These range from overviews of ancient criminal cases and mysteries and ancient science in law and courtrooms to examinations of such high-profile modern cases as the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the Unabomber case, and famous Hollywood forensic cases. The set also includes essays on such subjects as the Lindberg baby kidnapping case and the exhumations of Presidents Zachary Taylor and Abraham Lincoln.Organization and format: The articles in "Forensic Science" contain helpful top matter that defines the topics and summarizes their relevance to forensic science and the Further Reading notes. The alphabetical arrangement makes topics easy to find. Additional finding aids include category and subject indexes and cross-references to related topics at the end of each essay. The appendixes include a biographical directory of key figures in the history of the field, a glossary, a directory of television shows in which forensic sciences figure prominently, and a time line of major events.

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