As an avid watcher of the television show, Bones, which follows a husband/wife team of an FBI agent and forensic physical anthropologist who solve crime by using human remains, I decided I wanted to check out the American Academy of Forensic Sciences to learn more about this type of anthropology depicted in the show.
I was immediately drawn into the website when I read the About page explaining that this society applies science to the law and often participates in expert witness testimonies. As someone interested in having a career in law, I liked that I can see a way to connect my field of study and anthropology.
When watching the television show Bones, I thought that it was kind of far fetched. It was quite surprising to me that an organization like the one in the show actually exists in real life. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a huge organization with approximately 7000 members, and in a lot of ways it is similar to the the Jeffersonian in Bones. Even at it’s size the American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a very prestigious institution comprised of “physicians, attorneys, dentists, toxicologists, anthropologists, document examiners, digital evidence experts, psychiatrists, physicists, engineers, criminalists, educators, and others.” I like that this organization is interdisciplinary and teams up anthropologists with people from many other fields. I have read about how having people from as many fields as possible is best when trying to solve a problem or come up with a solution. Additionally, cultural diversity is also important and so it was good to know that members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences come from all fifty states of the United States, as well as, seventy one other countries.
The American Academy of Forensic Sciences has a conference once every year in order to share knowledge and keep members updated on the latest research findings and works on expanding the field. I think that having such a prestigious institution headquartering in the United States is very important. After spending time learning about the American Academy of Forensic Science, I was provided with a concrete example of how and why anthropology is still important and relevant today. Without the constant advancements in research made by this organization and all of their hard work, there might be a lot more rapists and murders walking the street. The expert testimony from the American Academy of Forensic Science has helped to put away a lot of dangerous people, as well as, set innocent people free.
Although, I recognize that a lot of crime shows have their inaccuracies, it is pretty cool how much a forensic anthropologist can learn from little physical evidence in real life. One thing that I found on the website that was really awesome was that the American Academy of Forensic Science offers a CSI camp for middle and high schoolers. I think that getting kids involved in this world of fascinating science is a really positive thing. They are also involved in a lot of college campuses and recruit student members as well. I think that the research and work that the American Academy of Forensic Sciences does will continually offer a lot of advancement in the field of anthropology because of it’s vast amount of research, and personnel.