A (selection of) day(s) in the life of a forensic scientist

By Anna Sandiford 17/11/2011 1

Lots of people ask me what it’s like on a day-to-day basis being a forensic scientist. If they catch me on a day when it’s been nothing but paperwork then they don’t get a very inspired answer. However, the past week has shown me once again how varied it can be.

Take last week for instance. I spent 7 hours at a police station examining items for a case, starting early enough in the morning that school traffic hadn’t even built up yet. That’s 7 hours dressed in a scene suit, face mask and double latex gloves. Thank goodness it wasn’t summer. Whilst we were at the police station, I introduced my similarly-dressed colleague to another colleague – how the normally-dressed person will ever recognise the one who was dressed as a plastic bag is anyone’s guess, but it was funny at the time.

I had to park my car in a spot usually reserved for Crime Scene Examiners. No problem with that, but the car parking space was right next to one of the main entry doors into the police station and I have an old, old car; I lost count of the number of times its warrant and rego were checked by passing officers. One of them expressed extreme surprise that it belonged to a forensic scientist, saying in a loud voice that we should be paid more. I know!

Next week involves giving a keynote speech to the Girls Into Science conference at the University of Auckland, which I am really looking forward to doing.

Never a dull moment – that’s what I like about this job.

One Response to “A (selection of) day(s) in the life of a forensic scientist”

  • I was at Girls Into Science today and everyone from my school really enjoyed your speech, it was very inspiring and it was interesting learning about forensic science.

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