The pervasiveness and popularity of the immensely popular TV show "CSI" has forensic scientists complaining about what they call the "CSI Effect": a perception of the near infallibility of forensic science after watching a few episodes of "CSI."
Then there are the positive effects of the show.
Among them, consider this statistic: in 1999, 4 students out of a student body of 25,000 at West Virginia University graduated as majors in forensic science.
Today 400 students are in the program, the vast majority of them women, making it the single largest major on campus.
Max Houck of West Virginia University presented these and other consequences of "CSI" in a paper delivered at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting this past weekend in Washington, D.C.
Rick Weiss wrote about these developments in a story which appeared in Tuesday's Washington Post.