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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on witf’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Hosted by: Scott LaMar



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Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



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Radio Smart Talk: CSI and real forensics and a call for improved forensics

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Apr 30, 2013 1:20 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, May 1:

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Prime-time crime dramas are a staple of network TV.  Along with reality and talent shows like American Idol, programs such as Law and Order, NCIS, and CSI have dominated the ratings for much of the past decade.

Those shows follow a similar formula.  A crime is committed and detectives or investigators show up at the crime scene to collect evidence.  That evidence usually goes to a laboratory where a forensic scientist or crime scene investigator uses glitzy, modern equipment and technology to help solve the crime.  DNA evidence is part of almost every episode.

But how close are those shows to reality?  Not much according to Professor Samuel Morgan of Central Penn College, who will appear on Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk.  Morgan says many students show up at college looking to make a career out of forensics based on what they've seen on TV and are surprised that it's not the same.  He'll explain on Radio Smart Talk.

Also, forensics may appear to be infallible on TV but in reality there are many problems with the nation's crime labs.  Marvin Schecter is a defense attorney in New York who was one of the authors of the 2009 report "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward."  Schecter joins us as well.

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Professor Samuel Morgan of Central Penn College

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Comments: 1

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-05-01 08:47

    Email from Thomas

    is it true that the computers at Penn Dot use facial recognition software when you have your driver's license photo taken?

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