Forensic science is the application of the scientific method to criminal investigation. Interest in this field has increased greatly over the last 14 years with the popularity of television shows such as CSI and NCIS. Unfortunately, such shows often give a false impression of the field, emphasizing investigative work and minimizing the science involved. In reality, forensic scientists are not focused on leading criminal investigations. Rather, they use the full power of scientific knowledge to analyze evidence and interpret the results. Forensic scientists do everything from determining the chemical compositions of substances through a mixture of simple chemical tests and high-tech instrumental analysis to extracting and analyzing the DNA from blood and other evidence to match DNA from a crime scene to DNA from a suspect; from examining the residue of house fires and extracting trace compounds from the wreckage to determine if the fire was accidental or arson to matching the minute scratches on two bullets to determine if they were fired from the same gun. Anyone who enjoys solving puzzles, is good at science, and has a strong desire to see justice done is likely to succeed as a forensic scientist.