Microbial Forensics: Educating the Workforce and the Community

Steven E. Schutzer, Bruce Budowle, Paul S. Keim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Disciplines related to microbial forensics are evolving rapidly. This evolution includes technology, analytical capabilities, and, equally as important, education and training. The scientific bases, applications, interpretations, and lessons learned by those who have been intimately involved in the early years of microbial forensics need to be documented and transferred to the next generation of scientists and decision makers so that we can protect society from potential harm resulting from bioterrorism and biocrime. The burgeoning field of microbial forensics should be accompanied by a parallel development of educational infrastructure and resources targeted at the next generation of practitioners, as well as diverse elements for the policy, research, and law enforcement communities. A microbial forensics education program can be broad, providing information encompassing all aspects of the field from science to policy, or more focused depending on its purpose and target audience. Policy makers must have a general understanding of microbial forensics results and better appreciation of their implications in order to effect sound and defensible policy decisions. Finally, an important group that informs the public and government is the news media. They are frequently the primary interface between the scientist and the public, making their observations, insights, or inaccuracies of great importance and impact. Educational efforts will better prepare such individuals to be informed and responsible and must be varied in depth and scope to match the target audience of various entities involved in microbial forensics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicrobial Forensics, Second Edition
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780123820068
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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