Not who done it but who is it: Learn to be a forensic scientist for free.

By: Molly Gorny | Date: Mon, September 14th, 2015

forensic scientist

People have been fascinated with crime solving as entertainment since before the introduction of Sherlock Holmes in the late 1800s, but the famous fictional detective’s emphasis on physical evidence and deductive reasoning helped pave the way for the rise of the forensic scientist as hero. That mysteries focused on the use of forensics are popular is not in doubt, as evidenced by the number of television shows like CSI, Dexter, or Bones, and the continual presence on bestselling book lists of such authors as Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, and Val McDermid.

For many enthusiasts of mystery novels or shows, solving the crime is part of the fun, and fans of forensic detectives can now take that participation to a new level with an innovative online course called “Identifying the Dead.” This course from FutureLearn lets participants play the role of forensic scientist, working to discover the victim’s identity and offering an inside look at how forensic detection works with the help of experts from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.

According to the class description, participants will “Uncover a grave, examine remains and reveal the victim’s identity.” All of these activities connect with a new story from famed mystery author Val McDermid that will be available to at-home detectives after they have submitted their final answers.

The program lasts six weeks, with new information being revealed each week allowing participants to develop their own theories about the victim’s identity. The online format provides opportunities to discuss information and ideas with other students and instructors. Participation costs nothing, but certificates are available for a small fee.

For more information or to sign-up, visit the Future Learn Site.

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