Corpse camp

Forget about swimming, canoeing or hiking: At forensic science camp in Florida, middle-schoolers learn how to identify corpses by their dental cavities. From the Orlando Sentinel:

Forensic pathology is not so different from a matching game — only with bodies, according to Dr. Jan C. Garavaglia, Orange-Osceola’s chief medical examiner and star of Discovery Health’s Dr. G: Medical Examiner.

Solving crimes involves matching features of human bones to photos that help determine their gender and age, Garavaglia told a group of about 10 middle-schoolers Thursday at a forensic-science camp at the Orlando Science Center.

. . . She brought human skulls, pelvises and thighbones from her lab to give the children a small understanding of forensic pathology and explain how she uses the bones left behind when we die.

All the CSI shows on TV have made forensic science a hot career choice. It’s not your grandmother’s camp, says The Ed Wonk.

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  1. I hope that’s not all they study there. Blood-spatter analysis, for example, would be a subject that could spur interest in mathematics and physics.

  2. I wonder how many people choose a career because of the way that career was portrayed on some TV show…bet it’s a lot.

    I shudder to think of some of the types of people who will be going into business careers after watching “The Apprentice.”

  3. well, photoncourier, years and years ago when I was a TA and the “medical” shows like ER were fairly new, I once had a student ask me what a pathologist did. (She asked, as we were staining bacteria, “Is this what pathologists do?”) I said I didn’t know for sure (I’m an ecologist) but that I supposed they did, some time. She remarked that she was planning on being a pathologist.

    later on, I saw a US News and World Report sort of ranking of careers by pay, and yup, at the top of the biology heap, you guessed it: pathologist.

    so she was choosing her career not on the basis of interest, not on the basis of even knowing what it was, but on the basis of money.

    I’ve also read that the CSI addicts tend to cause some “issues” in real-world trials, like asking for DNA tests and such when they’re not at all appropriate…

  4. “All the CSI shows on TV have made forensic science a hot career choice.”

    They’ve also made prosecuting crimes harder. Jurors expect evidentiary magic.

  5. Dave J, this is not a new problem. They used to call it the Perry Mason effect. Jurors expected the defense attorney to produce the real guilty party.