Thursday, 28 May 2015

Careers in Chemistry: Forensic Chemistry

http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career/chemistry-careers/forensic-                      chemistry.html

 http://www.academicinvest.com/science-careers/chemistry-careers/how-to-become-                            a-forensic-chemist

Forensic chemists use work with law enforcement agencies, analysing and testing samples from crime scenes. They use both qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify the evidence, its composition and its source. Some other job activities include testing body fluids or tissues for drugs or alcohol, examining fingerprints, and reporting findings in a comprehensible manner to the courts and other officers of the law (Academic Invest).

Being a forensic chemist requires a lot of patience and emotional stability, as often time is of the essence, and there will be immense pressure to produce results as soon as possible. Forensic chemists must also have good oral and written communication skills, so they can express their findings clearly 
To become a forensic chemist, a degree in either chemistry or forensic science is necessary. Taking courses such as soil analysis, biochemistry and physiology will give a great background with which to become a forensic chemist. Depending on the position, a masters may be required. To become a lab director a PhD is preferred, but to become a university professor a PHD is required. As with most science careers, hands on experience is the best way to gain the skills needed to succeed in your career (American Chemical Society).

 Volunteering, or doing an internship while completing your degree, is a good way to get experience and references when you apply for jobs (Academic Invest).


One of the most famous forensic scientists was John Wilson Murray, a Canadian who was one of the first to use forensic science and autopsies to solve crimes. His 31 year long career as the provincial detective of Ontario, in which he solved hundreds of crimes, earned him the nickname, “The Great Canadian Detective” (Butts).  

2 comments:

Rachel K said...

First of all, Butts.

ANYWAYS, I'm a huge fan of Law and Order SVU and the most interesting part of the show, in my opinion, is when they run tests in the lab. I've always found forensics and other similar fields super interesting. I really enjoy chemistry as well, and forensics will probably be my second option if I don't end up pursuing orthodontics. I hope that the job is as cool as it looks on Law and Order. Really interesting post! :)

Rebecca Barnshaw said...

I am a huge fan of crime shows and the best characters are always the nerdy forensic scientists. Of course TV is nothing like real life, but it still seems really interesting. I really enjoy chemistry and biology but I like working with the living more than the dead, so I don't think this is the best option for me.