Forensic science is at a turning point – many forensic disciplines lack evidence of their reliability and validity due to their non-scientific roots. Despite how it is portrayed in the media, outside of nuclear DNA and chemical analysis, forensic science largely relies on human decision-makers who analyse forensic evidence with little input from computers or algorithms. This is why it is important to understand exactly what underpins the expertise of forensic scientists – how and how well do they make decisions?

Together with the research and forensic science community, we work with interdisciplinary groups across the world – like the Evidence-Based Forensic Initiative and the Future of Forensic Science Initiative – to foster a research culture to investigate many of the questions that remain unanswered in forensic science. How well do forensic scientists perform in their work? How can we improve their procedures, practice and decision-making?

Research by Dr. Growns investigates some of the ways forensic scientists make decisions. Can you think like a forensic scientist? Take the test below to find out!

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Created on By Bethany Growns

Can you think like a forensic scientist?

Take this quiz to find out!

1 / 13

Would you describe yourself as any of the following?

2 / 13

Which of these letters is more common in the English alphabet?

3 / 13

If you were an eyewitness to a crime, which feature below would better help identify the perpetrator?

4 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

5 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

6 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

7 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

8 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

9 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

10 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

11 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

12 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

13 / 13

Which fingerprint feature is rarer?

Your score is

The average score is 62%

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Credit to de Jongh et al. (2017) for the image and Rivaldería et al. (2017) for frequency data.