Lab vs. Lab: CSI Edition / by dan turner

“I just met with the conference of Louisiana judges, and, when I asked if ‘CSI’ had influenced their juries, every one of them raised their hands,” Carol Henderson, the director of the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law, at Stetson University, in Florida, told me. “People are riveted by the idea that science can solve crimes.” -- from "The CSI Effect" by Jeffry Toobin in The New Yorker. Today's edition presents actual content, not just photos. Linked from each photo is some insight not only into how movie/TV labs look different from actual labs, but what effects on public perception these portrayals have on what a lab can do and mean.

An actual lab:

From The New Yorker


Lisa Faber, the supervisor of the N.Y.P.D. crime lab’s hair-and-fibre unit. Photograph by Gus Powell.

A TV lab:

Some CSI show


Note the shiny surfaces, indirect lighting, the prevalence of hair gel, plenty of open space to move and pace and pedeconference, tailored lab coats, and results that take under two weeks."

Bonus content:

CSI lab equipment


From linked article: "Our set decorators and designers work really hard to not only make beautiful sets, but also sets that are real." Note how "real" can oddly be a subset or secondary consideration to "beautiful". Is your lab beautiful?

As always: please send in photos of your own lab!