Soils ain't soils: Context and issues facing soil scientists in a forensic world

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The last decade has seen a welcome increased interest on the part of soil scientists, and related professionals, to apply their knowledge and technologies to addressing questions of forensic interest. This chapter discusses some of the challenges which face these professionals as they apply their science in the forensic space, principally arguing that soil science has the most to contribute in answering the 'what happened' question. Given the ubiquitous 'CSI hype' surrounding forensic science it is vital that soil forensic evidence is realistic and based on the sound application of science. The role of the expert witness is also discussed. Finally, the importance of underpinning standards and the need for research and importance of a partnership approach are emphasised.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCriminal and Environmental Soil Forensics
EditorsKarl Ritz, Lorna Dawson, David Miller
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781402092046
ISBN (Print)9781402092039
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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