What Is Forensic Science?

“Forensic” is a Latin word that literally means “before the forum”. Traditionally, it refers to something that is “related to or used in a court of law”. Today, however, the word “Forensic” seems to take on a slightly different meaning. It is directly associated to forensic science which is used to answer questions about matters that are legal in nature. More often than not, this pertains to cases that are brought to court, both criminal and civil. In order to answer the pertinent questions, it uses the different sciences necessary in order to gather evidence for a case. These days, it is more commonly referred to as simply “Forensics” which would seem odd in the literal sense of the word since “Forensics” directly refer to courts. Still, people have developed a common understanding on the word.


See also Scholarships and College Grants for Forensic Scientists

The term Forensic science may seem highfalutin but the truth is that this is an old concept that dates back as 212BC when people did not have as much scientific knowledge as we do today. During the time of the Roman Empire, a person who is accused of performing a crime pleads his case to the people around him. The accuser and the person who is accused have to tell his side of the story. Usually, the best speaker or the one with higher forensic skill would win the case. As you would notice, this is quite similar to how courts operate today hence lawyers, are expected to be skilled in Forensics. The higher his or her skill is, the bigger the chance of winning.

Do not be misled into thinking that it only existed in Europe. China, one of the ancient civilizations in Asia also used forensics in finding the truth about a certain case. They combine entomology and the practice of medicine in order to analyze the evidence presented in a case. By using forensic science, they are able to determine the truth about a certain case and use the evidence to present the truth.


See also All About Forensic Science Careers

Forensic science boomed along with the advancement of scientific knowledge, particularly when man discovered a way to analyze DNA as well as complex chemicals. These developments are most important. Today, it has major subdivisions in order to make it more efficient and since forensics use a wide array of sciences in order to come up with a conclusion, it is important to master these divisions. Forensic accounting, Forensic aerial photography, Forensic anthropology, Forensic archaeology, Forensic anatomy, Forensic botany, Forensic chemistry, Computational Forensics, Criminalistics, Digital Forensics are only some of these subdivisions. There are other options for a person interested in forensics to major in.



Forensic science is one of the more exciting sciences precisely because you examine evidence that will be used in court. It can condemn or acquit a person. Besides, the fact that so many different sciences are involved makes it very dynamic. Ultimately it is in the business of examining evidence to reveal the truth.