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Women enter forensic science

women forensic

Women are entering the forensic science field and now have their own association which had a booth at the Philadelphia Science Festival carnival. Watch video interview here.

>> ANTOINNETTE THWAITES: Forensic sciences are really helpful in helping law enforcement and legal professionals to figurine out what has taken place during a criminal investigation.  My name is Antoinette  Thwaites. I am a forensic chemist in Philadelphia and I am also the founder of the Association of Women in Forensic Science.  I have a degree in chemistry. And pretty much, a lot of people who are interested in forensics are not quite sure about how to go into the field. That’s why this organization is here – is to provide resources to teenagers and professionals.

 

>> MARK WILFORD Without divulging too many trade secrets, Edmond Locard was the fore- founder of forensic science. It basically said whenever you come into a crime scene you leave something and you take something with you. So basically what we’re trying to do is show there are traces of you, where have you been.  So you have hair, fibers… whenever you touch something you leave a deposit of yourself somewhere. So our exhibit shows hair fibers, blood serology.  And most people understand about fingerprints. Fingerprints are the forefront, most of forensic science because it’s instantaneous. What we’re trying to do is how the different types of fingerprints  the different applications that are used to recover those fingerprints. Like here you have a latent fingerprint on plastic paint print. So the latent fingerprint would have to be enhanced by some means and the paint print would be like a blood print so if you touched oil, blood, you actually left a deposit that’s what it would be indicative of DNA is about the molecular structure, the DNA your genetics.  So something that can’t be changed forged manipulated in any way so when people talk about DNA, DNA is a part of you and it’s a part of your parents and your parents’ parents. And it’s something that carries genetic lines

>>BR:  In addition to proving that someone did it, DNA can be used to prove someone didn’t do it, can’t it

 

>> Absolutely, forensic science is not based on a conviction, sometimes it’s adjudication.  We basically speak for the silent witness. >>>We speak for what the science says and those findings are based on scientific certainties

It was traditionally a male field but now it’s been more women interested in the field. Actually my class was more women than men. We had 15 women and two men. It actually was an odd class. It was my master’s degree program that was not the norm

>>BR: Why do you think women are becoming more interested in it?

>> I know why I was more into it I’m not sure I can speak for everyone. Medicine isn’t the only field for science. It gives you another outlet. In forensics? You get to help your community and you get to use science as well so that’s why I went into It was something else could help the community and still use my love for science.

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