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National Forensic Science Week 2016

High School Students Invited to Special Presentation on Tuesday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at state-of-the-art DNA laboratory building in Manhattan

New York, NY – The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) announces its celebration of National Forensic Science Week 2016 with a special focus on education to reach young New Yorkers interested in forensic science. As part of this effort, for the first time ever, high school students are invited to visit OCME’s DNA laboratory building on Tuesday, August 9, and hear from experts across the different areas of forensic science.

During the event, students will have the opportunity to see presentations from forensic pathologists, forensic anthropologists, and forensic scientists, followed by a tour of the OCME DNA training laboratory. The experts will offer firsthand accounts of how their real-life work in forensic science compares to the depictions on TV shows like CSI and other examples popular with high school students.

“Interest in forensic science careers has skyrocketed in the past decade, and with our range of expertise and resources, OCME is uniquely positioned to offer students a comprehensive view of opportunities in the field,” said New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson.

“With this special event to mark National Forensic Science Week, we hope to reach the next generation of leaders in forensic science and provide them with accurate information to inform and encourage their career paths.”

The presentation for current high school students will take place on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Charles S. Hirsch Center for Forensic Sciences at 421 East 26th Street (at First Avenue) in Manhattan. Space is limited, and RSVPs are required by calling (212) 447-2041. Parents and guardians may also attend, but students will receive first priority.

Celebrated this year from August 7 to August 13, National Forensic Science Week recognizes the crucial role that proper forensic science plays in the criminal justice system, from identifying the guilty to exonerating the innocent, and salutes the professionals who help provide these important services. The week also seeks to increase public understanding of forensic science and attract talented students to this growing field.

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment for forensic scientists will grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, a rate much faster than the average for all occupations. Meanwhile, the nation faces a critical shortage of medical examiners, where only 500 board-certified forensic pathologists are estimated to be working nationwide, or half the number needed.  

Now in its fourth year, National Forensic Science Week is supported by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sherriff’s Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, and the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations. For more information, visit

Established in 1918, OCME is the first governmental agency of its type in the United States and provides expert services across the range of forensic science disciplines. OCME operates the largest public crime DNA laboratory in North America, in addition to laboratories in toxicology and histology, and the nation’s only public molecular genetics laboratory. The agency is home to the country’s largest forensic pathology training program, having trained over 100 board-certified forensic pathologists since 1990. OCME also houses a department of forensic anthropology, and maintains a division of specially trained experts to respond to any and all fatality events, no matter what hazards may be encountered during recovery.

For more information, contact the OCME Public Affairs Office at (212) 447-2041.