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Police Technology and Forensic Science

History of Forensic Science


Police Car

Police Car

Photographer: Ian Britton

What is Forensic Science?

Forensic science is a scientific method of gathering and examining evidence. Crimes are solved with the use of pathological examinations that gather fingerprints, palm prints, footprints, tooth bite prints, blood, hair and fiber samples. Handwriting and typewriting samples are studied, including all ink, paper, and typography. Ballistics techniques are used to identify weapons as well as voice identification techniques are used to identify criminals.

History of Forensic Science

The first recorded application of medical knowledge to the solution of crime. In the 1248 Chinese book Hsi DuanYu or the Washing Away of Wrongs, ways to distinguish between death by drowning or death by strangulation were described.

Italian doctor, Fortunatus Fidelis is recognized as being the first person to practice modern forensic medicine, beginning in 1598. Forensic medicine is the "application of medical knowledge to legal questions." It became a recognized branch of medicine in the early 19th century.

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