Following on from comments and items regarding the CSI effect, there are two other issues 1. speed/turnaround times; 2. case limitations.
1. Not only do people expect science to provide full and complete answers, they expect it do be done quickly and on every occasion. Unfortunately, it’s not like CSI where a sample can be placed into a machine and an answer pops out after half an hour. Some analyses take what appear to be a long time. Processing of forensic pollen samples springs to mind – it’s a relatively long process, but consideration has to be given not just to the results but the interpretation. Thinking time has to be built into the reporting system. What seems like an unsolvable question today might easily be answered in two days’ time, probably at 2 in the morning when one is half asleep….
2. Science is evolving at a rapid pace and, in the long run, will probably achieve anything people want – it’s the age-old story that if the human mind can imagine it, it will probably eventuate, even if it’s in two hundred years’ time. However, in legal casework it is important to remember that the limitations of each case are the main restricting factors affecting the application of science, not the science itself. Just because DNA didn’t work in a particular case doesn’t mean it won’t work next time, it just means that for this particular case insufficient DNA was present for a profile to be obtained.
Although these comments don’t apply to everyone, a sufficiently large proportion of people are influenced by these factors that it has a knock-on effect on the amount of work we, as a company, receive.