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Forensic Science

Key Reading

Clive Emsley, Crime and Society, chapter 9

Further Reading

Nicki Buscemi, 'The Case of the Case History : Detecting the Medical Report in Sherlock Holmes', Journal of Victorian Culture, 2014

Janet Weston, 'Sexual Crimes, Medical Cures : The Development of a Therapeutic Approach Toward Sexual Offenders in English Prisons, c. 1900-1950', Canadian Journal of History, 2014

Christopher Hamlin, Christopher, 'Forensic cultures in historical perspective : Technologies of witness, testimony, judgment (and justice?)', Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2013

James O'Brien, The scientific Sherlock Holmes : cracking the case with science and forensics

Breandan Mac Suibhne and Alun Evans, 'Forensics and folklore the theft of 'human lard' in nineteenth-century Clare',
History Ireland, November/December 2012

Ian A. Burney and Neil Pemberton, 'Bruised Witness : Bernard Spilsbury and the Performance of Early Twentieth-Century English Forensic Pathology', Medical History, 2011

Keith Laybourn and David Taylor, Policing in England and Wales, 1918-39 : the fed, flying squads and forensics

Joel Eigen, 'Diagnosing Homicidal Mania : Forensic Psychiatry and the Purposeless Murder', Medical History, 2010

Fraser Joyce, 'Body of Evidence', History Today, 2010

Brendan Kelly, 'Folie à plusieurs : forensic cases from nineteenth-century Ireland', History of Psychiatry, 2009

Brendan Kelly, 'Poverty, Crime and Mental Illness : Female Forensic Psychiatric Committal in Ireland, 1910–1948',
Social History of Medicine, 2008

Julia Rudolph, 'Gender and the Development of Forensic Science : A Case Study', English Historical Review, 2008

Ian Burney, Poison, detection, and the Victorian imagination

Ian Burney, 'A poisoning of no substance : the trials of medico-legal proof in mid-Victorian England', Journal of British Studies, 1999

Tal Golan, 'The History of Scientific Expert Testimony in the English Courtroom', Science in Context, 1999

German Berrios and Hugh Freeman, 150 years of British psychiatry

Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford, Legal medicine in history

N. G. Coley, 'Alfred Swaine Taylor, MD, FRS (1806-1880) : forensic toxicologist', Medical History, 1991

Joel Eigen, 'Delusion in the courtroom : the role of partial insanity in early forensic testimony', Medical History, 1991

Seminar Questions

What influences the growth of forensic science and its application to policing?

How is forensic evidence treated by the courts?

How is forensic science represented in literature (such as Sherlock Holmes)?

Is forensic science impartial or are there signs of gendered/racial approaches?