The science of Sherlock Holmes

<  The science of Sherlock Holmes

From the student newspaper of the University of Rhode Island:

A crime historian discussed real-life cases in which forensic scientists were aided by the methods and principles of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes Friday in Pastore Hall.

E.J. Wagner published The Science of Sherlock Holmes, which has been recently nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the 2007 Edgar Award.

The lecture was part of the Forensic Science Seminar Series.

She discussed a wide array of topics involving forensic science and the myths that it has replaced, and cases in which forensic scientists applied methods first used by a fictional detective to solve real-life crimes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used Holmes to introduce the scientific method to the superstitious majority of his time, Wagner said. At that time, it was the most accurate way to detect crimes, instead of using folklore and mythology


“What Sherlock Holmes has given us to this day … is the idea of the collection of data,” Wagner said. “Even the way we have DNA banks today is the same as he kept his own materials; the whole idea of collecting data beforehand so if it comes up again we can match it. Just that idea was extraordinary.”

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