Do you have ‘The Sherlock Factor’? Dr Bethany Growns: Thursday 9 May – Speaker Series @ Tūranga

Are you intrigued by a bit of Christchurch CSI? Perhaps you love a good crime drama and fancy you may have a bit of ‘The Sherlock Factor’ when it comes to solving the most heinous of crimes. Well, come to Tūranga on May 9 and listen to a forensic science expert present on what it takes to become a brilliant crime solver.

Dr Bethany Growns - The "Sherlock factor" and forensics

On 9 May, cognitive scientist Dr Bethany Growns from the University of Canterbury will talk about crime-solving through the use of forensic science techniques.

Find out if you have the “Sherlock Factor” by completing her Are You A 'Super-Matcher' test before or after her presentation which will be in Tūranga’s Activity Room on Hapori | Level 1. Dr Grown’s test is designed to identify people who have a talent for detecting patterns in forensic evidence collected from crime scenes.

Her research honesin on finding the right people to analyse evidence. She says:

“Despite how it is portrayed in the media, outside of nuclear DNA and chemical analysis, forensic science largely relies on human decision-makers who analyse forensic evidence with little input from computers or algorithms. This is why it is important to understand exactly what underpins the expertise of forensic scientists – how and how well do they make decisions?”

Dr Growns is aiming to find out: How does a fingerprint examiner determine whether two fingerprints are from the same person or two different people? How does a firearms examiner decide whether two cartridge cases have been fired from the same gun or two different guns?

“My research examines the psychology behind how forensic scientists make these decisions and how they reach their ultimate conclusions.”

Her insights into what makes a good forensic scientist can then be used to improve training for these crime solvers.

Read up before this talk

About the Speaker Series @ Tūranga

Christchurch residents now have the opportunity to come to Tūranga and listen to a variety of free and interesting talks from experts in their fields. The monthly event Speaker Series @ Tūranga offers presenters on topics as diverse as crime solving with forensic science, rebuilding your life after a traumatic experience and climate change.

Speaker Series @ Tūranga launched on March 14 with Professor Jon Hickford delivering an interesting and engaging talk on meeting the climate change challenge while still protecting the New Zealand economy.  June's speaker is Julie Zarifeh, qualified and registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist and has treated people presenting with depression and anxiety. She has also done academic research on broken heart syndrome and the psychological ramifications of the 15 March Christchurch terror attack on the city’s Muslim community.