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Distillations | Science History Institute

294 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.

18:08

Digging Up the Bodies: Debunking CSI and Other Forensics Myths

Thanks to modern technology most crimes these days can be neatly solved in under an hour. At least that's what fictional TV shows like CSI seem to suggest. 

We wanted to address the so-called "CSI Effect," caused by the simplification of forensic science in popular culture. CSI and  likeminded TV shows–with their heroic investigators solving crimes in mere minutes–mislead viewers and affect real court cases. The reality of investigation is much slower and more complex, but no less fascinating.

Hosts Michal Meyer and Robert Kenworthy speak with experts Anna Dhody, a physical and forensic anthropologist, and Lisa Rosner, a historian. They discuss the early days of solving crime and the on-going chemistry of the human body throughout life and death.

SHOW CLOCK:

00:03 Introduction

02:03 Past and present: the "CSI Effect"  

05:00 Forensic science: its beginnings

06:40 Burke and Hare: the not-quite body snatchers

09:34 Digging up the bodies: mass murder in Peru

11:11 The chemistry of bodies

12:44 Skulls, phrenology, and race

CREDITS:

Hosts: Michal Meyer and Robert Kenworthy

Guests: Anna Dhody and Lisa Rosner

Producer & Editor: Mariel Carr

"Stabbings" by Moby, courtesy of Mobygratis.com

 

check out Distillations magazine at distillations.org, where you'll find articles, videos, and our podcast.

 
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