50 Situations Awaiting Every Forensic Scientist is a personal guide to navigating the unique challenges and circumstances faced by those who give a voice to scientific evidence in our criminal justice system. In this thoughtful collection of heartfelt advice, humorous reflections, and candid self-admissions, acclaimed forensic laboratory administrator and executive coach, John M. Collins, encourages readers to stand tall in the face of adversity and opportunity. There is no such thing as a typical forensic science career, but there are situations, both common and uncommon, that can disorient and demoralize even the most capable professional if he or she is not prepared. From the perspective of one of the most recognized and respected forensic science leaders, not only in the United States but also internationally, 50 Situations promises to inspire and motivate while also cautioning forensic scientists to remain alert for situations that are especially threatening or perplexing. Luck favors the prepared, which is why this book is a must-read for forensic science professionals at all levels of experience and responsibility who are interested in maximizing their individual effectiveness. Make some space in your library because you'll want this book close by even after you read it!
Although 50 Situations is intended for practicing forensic scientists, it is also helpful for forensic science managers, leaders, and executive administrators seeking to become better coaches and mentors for their employees.
After John welcomes readers with a heartfelt call-to-action in the book's introduction, the main content is divided into four sections, with each section covering specific situations that share common themes.
Part 1 is titled Your Employment, addressing some of the most common situations forensic scientists encounter during their training and ongoing relationships with their individual laboratories. Part 2 is titled Your Professionalism and Integrity, exploring some of the temptations and tests that one can expect when working in a forensic science laboratory. In Part 3, John gets specific with his recommendations and words of caution about the enterprise of expert witnessing. Then, in Part 4, readers are guided through a facilitated reflection about what the future holds for them as forensic science professionals.
In the book's conclusion, the author shares what he describes as one of the most important and impactful moments of his career, one that provided guidance and direction for the remainder of his tenure as a forensic laboratory administrator.
For those who are interested putting themselves on a journey of self-exploration and personal transformation, John has included a comprehensive self-analysis exercise in the book's appendix. In this exercise, participants will have the opportunity to expand their self- awareness by answering and reflecting on 50 questions, all of which are designed to help explore various factors that impact how forensic scientists feel about their careers, how they perform in their careers, and how they make choices that affect how their careers play out over time. It's not an exercise that can be completed in a day or two. In fact, it can take a participant months to go through the questions and formulate thoughtful answers. But it's an effort that can help a struggling or confused forensic scientist make progress toward accelerating the pace of their career development.