Cover image for Encyclopedia of forensic science
Encyclopedia of forensic science
Bell, Suzanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 350 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV8073 .B415 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



This encyclopedia is designed for high school and college students as well as the general reader with an interest in the subject. It contains approximately 800 to 1200 entries and 15 prose essays, complemented by illustrations and black-and-white photographs, which focus on the principal areas and issues that characterize this field of science. The volume is designed to be accessible to non-specialists and contextualizes the subject with historical information and examples of famous cases in which forensic science proved invaluable. Entries are all indexed and cross-referenced and there is a list of resources such as further reading, educational opportunities, and web sites to help guide more in-depth study of the subject.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The popularity of books by Patricia Cornwell and television crime-solving shows like C.S.I.0 has brought forensic science to the forefront of popular culture. The Encyclopedia of Forensic Science 0 seeks to narrow the gap between forensic fiction and the actual capabilities of forensic science by providing an overview to a very complex discipline. With an emphasis on science, this volume covers such experiment and laboratory concepts as Control samples, Density,0 and Null hypothesis0 , along with laboratory equipment and various lab tests like chromatography and immunoassay. In addition to explaining the science of forensics, Bell, a research professor in forensic chemistry, reviews various disciplines related to forensic science, among them entomology, odontology, and psychology. Other entries cover professional organizations, government agencies, famous names in the field of forensics, evidence, and legal issues. There are also entries for cases such as the O. J. Simpson trial and the Lindbergh kidnapping. More than 600 topics related to forensic science are treated. Descriptions vary in length from a sentence to four pages. Longer entries often have suggestions for further reading, usually one to three citations. There are illustrations and photographs throughout, as well as an eight-page color photograph insert. Numerous cross-references within entries provide a better understanding of the relationships among terms. In addition to the encyclopedia entries, Bell has also included 14 feature essays on such topics as "Myths of Forensic Science," "Careers in Forensic Science: A Reality Check," and "The 'Top Ten' Cases in Forensic Science." This volume has substantially more entries than Encyclopedia of Forensic Science: A Compendium of Fact and Fiction 0 (Oryx, 2002), though readers hoping for more case examples may prefer the latter. Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences 0 (Academic, 2000) is a much more scientific treatment. With its clear language and brief entries, the current volume will provide readers with a nuts-and-bolts understanding of the real world of forensic science and is recommended for public and undergraduate libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

The tremendous growth in popularity of forensic science in popular culture via television shows like CSI and the fictional works of Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell has generated a corresponding growth in public interest in the topic. This book is made up of 15 essays describing the application of forensic science to real-life situations as well as 650 alphabetical entries, most including recommendations for further reading. Bell (chemistry, West Virginia Univ.)--who is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics and whose work has been published in such journals as The Journal of Forensic Sciences and Journal of Analytical Toxicology--writes in a style that is accessible to the general public, explaining some of the relevant broader concepts that underlie scientific work (e.g., the scientific method, hypothesis testing, and stipulation). Also profiled are relevant persons and institutions, including the FBI, the American Board of Criminalistics, Calvin Goddard, and Paul Kirk. Revised appendixes also provide sources for additional information ("Appendix I: Bibliographies and Web Resources") and common acronyms and abbreviations. An index provides additional access to topics covered in the encyclopedia, including main entries and illustrations. Black-and-white illustrations are included throughout the volume, and an insert features four leaves of color illustrations. BOTTOM LINE This resource fills the need for accessible, accurate information on a popular topic. It describes much of the reality of forensic work that is often glossed over in works of fiction. Recommended for public and academic undergraduate libraries as well as high school libraries. [Available electronically through Infobase Ebooks, the publisher's new ebook platform.]--Sarah Sutton, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Corpus Christi (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Bell (a forensic scientist specializing in forensic chemistry) has written an excellent source for general readers or forensic professionals. More than 600 alphabetically arranged entries cover topics as diverse as chemistry, geology, and anthropology. Although some entries are brief (about a paragraph), many run several pages ("blood spatter patterns" occupies 4.5 pages). Entries are cross-referenced and often contain notes for further reading. About 200 illustrations (color and black and white) enhance the explanation of several topics. Nonspecialist terms, often followed by the professional equivalent in parentheses, make this volume easily accessible to general readers. Fourteen essays cover diverse topics such as myths of forensic science (the TV series CSI is not always accurate), DNA typing, and privacy and drug testing in sports. Appendixes include bibliographies of printed and Web resources, a list of acronyms, and the periodic table. The index indicates main entries with boldface and photographs or illustrations with italics. Essential for professional forensic scientists and armchair enthusiasts. ^BSumming Up: Essential. General and academic collections. K. Evans Indiana State University



Encyclopedia of Forensic Science contains important information on the increasingly popular and relevant subject of forensic science. Designed for high school and college students as well as general readers with an interest in this fascinating field, it conveys the distinguishing features and one-of-a-kind complexities of forensic science in an engaging, easy-to-follow style. In approximately 1,000 concise and interesting entries, this unique resource introduces students to the principal areas and issues that characterize this new field of science. Fifteen topical essays provide a detailed look at special topics, and numerous drawings and photographs provide a useful visual component of the book. A vivid, four-color insert of 21 images brings the subject to life. This encyclopedia is a comprehensive resource that provides an excellent overview of forensic science. Written in terms that non-specialists will understand, the volume contains historical information as well as examples of famous cases in which forensic science was invaluable. In addition to the extensive collection of illustrations and completely indexed and cross-referenced entries, Encyclopedia of Forensic Science offers a valuable list of resources such as further reading, educational opportunities, and websites to help guide more in-depth study of the subject. Topics include: Accuracy Aging techniques American Board of Criminalists (ABC) Asphyxia Blood spatter patterns Breathalyzer Coincidental match Criminal vs. civil cases DNA Fingerprints Ghost marks Sherlock Holmes Ignition point Journal of Forensic Identification Paternity tests Rape kit Scotland Yard Shroud of Turin O.J. Simpson Suicide Voice print and more. Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Forensic Science by Suzanne Bell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.