Father of Forensic Science

There are so many researches about history of forensic science is laying around the web and after reading all of them I find out that it is not complete yet but still we want to know that who actually give face to the forensic science and for that we have to still delved. While there is still continuous research on the origin and usage of forensic science, in such a situation we can get a list of the fathers of forensic science based on the research and documents available so far, which are:

  • Maharshi Charaka :

He is the Author of Charaka-samhita. Charaka Samhita is considered to be the most ancient treaties on Ayurveda available till now which have been authored about the seventh century BC. Although Charak paid attention to all aspects of medicine, including the rationale and philosophy behind the Indian medicinal system, he laid special emphasis on the diagnosis of the disease and their treatment . He also elaborated on topics like fetal formation and development, the anatomy of the human body and body functions and defects with the classification of various diseases.

  • Shushruta:

Father of Forensic Medicine (Indian forensic Medicine)

Father of Plastic Surgery/Surgery

He is the writer of Sushruta Samhita. The Sushruta Samhita presents the field of Ayurvedic surgery (shalya) dealing with the practice and theory of surgery around the sixth century BC Susruta is, also, renowned as the father of plastic surgery. He also wrote about various poisons and their treatments in his book which contains a separate chapter on toxicology. He classified poisons into:

(1) Plant poisons

(2) Animal poisons, and

(3) Artificial poisons

  • Kautilya:

The seventh chapter of the fourth book of Arthashastra deals with the concept of criminal investigation. He also mentioned Modus operandi of criminals.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the famous Sherlock Holmes novel and stories was a Scottish physician, who has been acknowledged for his significant contribution in the field of forensic science due to his elaborated use of methods such as fingerprints, serology, ballistics, trace evidence, handwriting analysis, and footprints, etc. way back before they were commonly used by actual legal enforcements. In his first novel “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) he demonstrated his method of inference and deduction in relation to crime scene and criminal profiling.

Locard is considered as a father of modern forensic science and criminology. Locard created the first crime investigation laboratory in 1910 where he could analyze evidence from crime scenes. He developed several methods of forensic analysis that are still in use and also contributed much to the study of fingerprints. He gave one of the most commonly used theories of forensic science, known as the “Locards Exchange Theory”, which is “Every contact leaves a Trace”.

In 20th Centuray Bernard Spilsbury is considered as a father of forensic science because of his immense work in legal justice system solely. he shaped and developed techniques to collect and preserve the evidence and also trained Investigating officers for their better field work so that evidence couldn’t be destroyed. He worked on over 25,000 dead bodies and presented his opinions and expertise in many famous cases, such as; Crippen Case, Armstrong Case, Brighton Trunk Murder Case etc. It will not be an exaggeration if I say that he lays the foundation for modern forensic science.


These name of renowned personalities has been mentioned here because of there contribution in Forensic Science even when forensic science was not widely used or known. (The names given here are based on my knowledge.)

1.Tewari RK, KV Ravikurnar. Development of Forensic Science in India: A Historical Account. Journal of the Indian Academy of Forensic Sciences 1999;38:17-32.      
2.Tewari RK. Application of Forensic Science in Criminal Justice Administration in the Developing Countries. The Indian Police Journal1999; XLVI:78-83.      
3.Nanda BB, RK Tewari. Development of Forensic Science Services at the State Level. The Indian Police Journal 2000; XLVI-XLVII:109-119.      
4.Iyengar NK. Growth and Development of Forensic Science in India. The Indian Police Journal 1961; (Special Centenary Issue):145-151.      
5.Chatterjee SK. History of Fingerprinting in India, The Indian Police Journal (Special Centenary Issue), 1961, pp 152-157      
6.Tewari RK, AK Ganjoo. Fifty years of Forensic Science in India: An Introspection, The Indian Police Journal (Special Issue on Indian Police after 50 years of Independence), Vol. XLV, No. 1 & 2, JanJune 1998, pp 105-110.      
7.Tewari RK, KV Ravi Kumar. Nine Decades of Forensic Examination in India, The Indian Police Journal (Special Issue on Indian Police after 50 years of Independence), Vol. XLV, No. 1 & 2, Jan-June 1998, pp 116-122.      
8.State-of-the-art Forensic Sciences: For Better Criminal Justice, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, May 1999.      
9.Forensic Science in India, Bureau of Police Research & Development, New Delhi, 1997.      
10.Tewari RK. Swantantrata Ke Pachas Varshon Men Nyayalayik Vigyan Ki Pragati, Uttar Pradesh Police Patrika; 1998.      
11.Third Report of the National Police Commission, Govt. of India, Chapter XXIV; 1980. pp 40-47.      
12.Misra SC. A Handbook on Police Organization and Administration, BPR&D; 1977. pp 138-140.       
19.The Father of Forensics by Colin Evans (2009)
20.Ramsland K. The Incomparable Witness: Sir Bernard Spilsbury. Forensic Examiner. 2008;17(1):1–70.
21.Vanezis P. Forensic medicine: past, present, and future. Lancet. 2004;364(Supply 1):8–9.
22.Kaplan RM. The fallible inflexibility of bernard spilsbury: a charismatic doctor and his discontents. Forensic Res Criminol Int J. 2017;4(2):53-54. DOI: 10.15406/frcij.2017.04.00105
24.Evolution of Forensic Medicine in India,
Dr Shilekh Mittal, M.D., DNB, Dr Sonia Mittal, M.D.,Dr Moneeshindra Singh Mittal, M.B.B.S.
JIAFM, 2007 – 29(4); ISSN: 0971-0973

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