Science Vs
Science Vs
Oct 7, 2016
Forensic Science
Play • 41 min

There are a slew of scientific techniques that forensic experts use to solve crimes. But how reliable are they? We’re putting forensic evidence under the microscope. To help us crack the case, we talk to Assoc. Prof. Sibyl Bucheli, attorney Chris Fabricant, former crime lab director Barry Fisher, Dr. Itiel Dror, and Assoc. Prof. Patrick Buzzini.

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This episode has been produced by Wendy Zukerman, Shruti Ravindran, Diane Wu, Austin Mitchell and Heather Rogers. Our senior producer is Kaitlyn Sawrey.

Edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Caitlin Kenney. Fact checking by Michelle Harris.

Sound design and music production by Matthew Boll, mixed by Martin Peralta and Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord.

Selected References

2009 National Academy of Sciences and 2016 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology reports on forensic science

Overview of forensic entomology Amendt et al, “Forensic entomology,” Naturwissenschaften, 2004

Study modeling precision of dating time of death from flies Faris et al, “Forensic Entomology: Evaluating Uncertainty Associated With Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimates With Ecological Models,” Journal of Medical Entomology 2016.

Review paper on bite mark analysis Clement et al, “Is current bite mark analysis a misnomer?”

Department of Justice review of Brandon Mayfield case

Context can change how fingerprints are read Dror et al, “Contextual information renders experts vulnerable to making erroneous identifications,” Forensic Science International, 2006.

Hair microscopy can lead to incorrect matches Houck et al, “Correlation of microscopic and mitochondrial DNA hair comparisons,” Journal of Forensic Science, 2002.

Ologies with Alie Ward
Ologies with Alie Ward
Alie Ward
Bilharziology (BLOOD FLUKES) with Anouk N. Gouvras
A LOST EPISODE! Three years in the making, this interview features vials of vile creatures, worm drama, febrile hallucinations, spooning, and unfortunate snacks. It has waited a long time to meet you, so let’s get weird, take a trip back to summer of 2017 -- before Ologies existed -- and unearth one of the very first, never-before-heard interviews. Alie absolutely bungles her way through a chat with Dr. Anouk Gouvras, a London-based parasitologist studying the flatworms that cause schistosomiasis. Consider this an awkward baby photo of Ologies: before the show had any format or structure, and before your host learned how to properly use sound equipment. Stay tuned for a surprise ending to the conversation, and then follow Dr. Gouvras on Twitter and tell her you’re glad to finally get an introduction.  Follow Dr. Anouk Gouvras at Sponsor links: A donation went to the The Global Schistosomiasis Alliance: More links and info at Become a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a month: has hats, shirts, pins, totes! Follow or Follow or Sound editing by Jarrett Sleeper of MindJam Media & Steven Ray Morris Theme song by Nick Thorburn Support the show: See for privacy information.
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