Monday, February 8, 2010

Science Cafe Cleveland: Developing Latent Fingerprints: The Real CSI

I got a rather strange call from my violin teacher late this morning... She had heard about and thought I might be interested in a series of events called Science Cafe Cleveland, sponsored by the CWRU chapter of Sigma Xi.
On the fence about attending because it takes place at the Great Lakes Brewery Tasting Room, and the West Side scares this East Sider, and I really needed to get some time in practicing my violin I decided to go. I knew I was in the right place when, at the doorway, intermixed with the rich aroma of freshly-brewed beer I heard what sounded like the foundations of a heated debate about the new Google phone. Luckily that's about as geeky as the night got.

Tonight's topic "Developing Latent Fingerprints: The Real CSI" with Dan Winterich, Senior Special Agent, Crime Scene Unit, and Michelle Snyder, Forensic Scientist, Latent Print Unit, both of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation proved to be very interesting, opening with a very brief PowerPoint presentation and leading to an open forum with three rules (raise your hand, it's ok to ask questions or make statements, and no jargon)

Some great questions were asked, and great answers were given. The audience was fantastically diverse as well. It was a very relaxed atmosphere (the full bar certainly helped matters; though I felt a bit like I was committing heresy when I ordered a vodka and coke [what can I say, I'm not a beer person]) and it didn't seem like anything was off limits.

I'd recommend trying the program to anyone -- the next one will be March 8th and is cryptically titled "Ohio Glaciers".


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