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Probably a 5 out of 10. Im training up the next generation of geoscientists, which I think is important, doing research which feeds into Police search teams and advise searchers, which hopefully will bring a result. Not the most important job in the world, but hopefully contributing something meaningful!
Of course I would have to say for a forensic science about 7 or 8
The use of science to provide factual and reliable information to our criminal justice system is absolutely critical because if effects peoples lives in a very real way. That could be in providing evidence that proves someone committed murder, to providing the dignity of an identity to the dead.
On a scale of 1 to 10. In comparison with doctors and those who save lives, I can only be a 1.
In science, I may feature slightly higher, but certainly not on the same level as my fellow ‘Zonies’ in this room.
For society, I hope that my investigations can identify the causations of crashes and, in turn, help to make the roads safer. For example, where I may find that a road layout, a bend, or a junction may have been a contributory causation factor in a collision, then my findings may be used to change the road to try and prevent another, possibly fatal, crash at that point.
I may find a mechanical fault in a car, which the manufacturer needs to redesign. This may ultimately save lives, but we never really know. However, I consider that is important. My job is necessary to prevent accidents in the future and the law requires that all fatal collisions are effectively and thoroughly investigated, so I may move higher up the scale.
I think my job would be rated 10 on the importance scale. Without forensic entomology (using insects to determine time since death), there would be many criminals still on the loose. Insects are the most reliable method in determining time since death after 48-72 hours after death, so they can be used to help tie suspects to a scene at a specific time, i.e. when the person died. Insects are crucial evidence!