Investigative Thinking through Forensic Science
It is a classic mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.
Sherlock Holmes ("A Scarlet in Red")
Dec 18-24, 2021
How do forensic scientists analyse traces of evidence found at crime scenes? Can a small drop of blood or strand of hair help identify the suspects?
In this course, we will answer such questions by understanding the biological, chemical, and physical concepts of forensic science. We will further explore the ethical and legal aspects of crime forensics by understanding the roles of bias, doubt and technology in investigations.
Each topic is set against the backdrop of a real or fictional case, and to solve it, we will engage in investigations, debates and discussions to understand the topic in detail. All throughout, the focus is on the process of scientific enquiry and the legal principle of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’.
We will use our analytical skills to examine fingerprints, DNA, blood samples and bullet fragments. We do this against the backdrop of cases adapted for students at this learning stage. In the process, we dive deeply into understanding fingerprint formation and patterns; and the structure of DNA, how it is useful as evidence, and what the process is for differentiating the DNA of two people. We will have similar deep dives into the understanding of blood and the process of blood typing and matching. We finally take a journey back in time and reconstruct one of the most famous crime scenes – the JFK assassination, and using our knowledge of force and motion, try to resolve discrepancies in the case.
This course is a perfect mix of deep dives into cutting-edge scientific concepts and using critical thinking to make evidence-based deductions. So put on your investigative hats, make deductions based on evidence, and reach conclusions on different forensic cases!