Do we need a forensic science teaching network?

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The challenging events of the past year have forced those of us working in higher education to adapt our teaching practices to conform to the restrictions put in place. For many this has been an opportunity to take a fresh view of the way material has been delivered in the past, and critically reflect on how it might be delivered in the future. There has been an explosion of innovative ideas and the introduction of support networks such as ‘#RemoteForensicCSI’ to aid with sharing these new innovations and examples of good practice.

However, the past year has also helped to highlight a lack of an established network that could support the teaching of forensic science in the UK. Teaching networks within the UK exist for related disciplines, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Higher Education Chemistry Teaching Network, but no network focuses on the teaching challenges specific to forensic science. Such a network could help to address the gap in pedagogical research to help support more effective teaching and give learners the best opportunities possible. This would complement the work of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science including upholding accreditation standards and the existing Link Member Scheme, whilst providing an environment to specifically support the teaching of forensic science. Any network could also look to link with other networks internationally such as the Council of Forensic Science Educators in the USA and identify examples of good practice worldwide that could be used to enhance and inform forensic science teaching in the UK.

The teaching of forensic science is multifaceted with a need to strike a balance between practical skills and theoretical knowledge. Like many vocational courses forensic science teaching staff have a diverse range of backgrounds, encompassing both academic and practitioner experience. This results in a range of experiences and approaches to teaching and delivery, creating a fantastic melting pot for ideas, but outlets for sharing these innovative approaches are limited. This article will highlight some of the pedagogical gaps within forensic science teaching and areas that we could learn from. Most importantly, it will issue a clarion call to those working in this area to push for a UK Forensic Teaching Network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-829
Number of pages3
JournalScience and Justice
Issue number6
Early online date20 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • forensic education
  • network


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