Humanity's most appalling crimes are solved by experts presenting painstakingly gathered evidence to the court of law. Investigators rely on physical, chemical and digital clues gathered at the scene of an incident to reconstruct beyond all reasonable doubt the events that occurred in order to bring criminals to justice. Enter the forensic team, tasked with providing objective recognition and identification and evaluating physical evidence (the clues) to support known or suspected circumstances. Far from the super-sleuths of fiction, the real-life masters of deduction occupy a world of dogged detection, analysing fingerprints or gait, identifying traces of toxins, drugs or explosives, matching digital data, performing anatomical dissection, disease diagnosis, facial reconstruction and environmental profiling.
Professor Sue Black OBE is a leading forensic anthropologist and director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Her forensic expertise has been crucial to a number of high-profile criminal cases, including the conviction of Scotland's largest paedophile ring in 2009. In 1999 she headed the British Forensic Team's exhumation of mass graves in Kosovo. She founded the British Association of Human Identification in 2001 and received the Lucy Mair Medal from the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2008.
Professor Niamh Nic Daeid is one of the UK's leading researchers in forensic science, is Professor of Forensic Science at the University of Dundee. Previously based at the University of Strathclyde for two decades, she was the first woman to earn a personal chair in the Department of Chemistry in Strathclyde's 215-year history.