Exploring the roots of CSI

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Medical Historian Dr Cassie Watson has published her latest book which traces the development of forensic medicine over the past 800 years – the field made famous by US TV series Crime Scene Investigation.

Medical historian Dr Cassie Watson has published her latest book which traces the development of forensic medicine over the past 800 years – the field made famous by US TV series Crime Scene Investigation.

The first book of its kind, Forensic Medicine in Western Society: A History gives an overview of the development of forensic medicine in the West from the medieval period up to the present day. While autopsy has always formed the core of forensic investigation, modern-day procedures are more reliant on scientific analysis than ever before.

Looking at the ever-changing relationship between medicine, law and society, the book examines the growth of medico-legal concepts and institutions in Britain, Europe and the United States.

Cassie examines areas like the rise of the forensic expert and medical attitudes towards the victims and perpetrators of crime. Ultimately, her research reveals how medicine has played an important role in shaping legal, political and social change.

Forensic Medicine in Western Society: A History includes case studies which tie forensic medicine to the societies in which it was practiced, and a further reading section at the end of each chapter.

This is a vital addition to the libraries of social historians or students of the history of medicine, law and crime.

Forensic Medicine in Western Society: A History is out now, published by Routledge (£18.99, paperback).