entertainment

Jorja Fox hopes 'CSI: Vegas' will spark science appreciation

5 Comments
By ALICIA RANCILIO

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“In 2000, we were pretty sure that science could tell us somebody committed a crime or not. Now we're even more sure to the point where I would say, I don't know how anybody gets away with anything at all"

Really?

Has she even been in a courtroom before? (Divorce(s) not counting).

In the legal world, it is called the "CSI Effect." It is a real problem faced by real people, every day. And there is a considerable amount of complaining and loathing about it, in courtrooms around the world.

It is most commonly complained of when CSI fan-turned-prospective juror comes to believe and expect that forensic science is very commonplace, very precise, and almost always performed with a high degree of technological sophistication that is occasionally - but extremely inaccurately - portraited on shows. And they get very annoyed if they don't get it. Or testy when they do get it, but it doesn't look nearly as cool and sci-fi as they would like it to be. As seen on TV.

Prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges have opined for years now that CSI and others of the genre are making their jobs harder. Others will disagree, saying there true harm lies in remedies asked by counsel and employed by judges, that may do more harm than good, by introducing bias into juror selection and decision-making.

Did I mention scientists themselves? Some research shows that many forensic scientists and experts for both prosecution and defense react negatively to CSI, at least in part, because of their increased workload; particularly when budgetary issues face forensic science departments in many jurisdictions around the world. They take exception to the unfortunate "infallible" message that it sends about science, particularly since in reality some tests have built-in probability percentages of error.

But I'll venture to guess that the producers won't give a shaved poodle about any of this, as long as the ratings are there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Skeptical You nailed it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@proxy

@Skeptical You nailed it.

Yes, but... what is the point? What does Skeptical want to happen? No more TV shows?

Is the same old debate, is rap music the cause of violence? is heavy metal the cause of satanism? are violent video games the cause of violence?

Isn't people to blame for their OWN actions and lack of judgement and discernment. Do we have to blame the creators??

It is entertainment, anyone who confuses it with reality is at fault not otherwise.

Skeptical's points while true are moot to this story and correspond more in the teaching and educating of people not to believe everything on the TV screens!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ Chikatilo what is the point?

You've presented several interesting questions and points.

The most important, what is the point, is that it is a real phenomenon. Evidence shows that it exists and that it makes the pursuit of justice - justice being one of the most precious commodities in the world, today - more difficult to obtain than ever.

So, we know the problem. Awareness of the problem is the next most important step. Since the typical viewer has had little (if any) exposure to the legal profession or a court of justice, awareness is really key.

From awareness, we can then look to what to do about it. And we don't have too far too look: The Grey’s Anatomy effect.

Just as real. And just as much a real-life problem. The Grey’s Anatomy effect was seen when viewers formed expectations of healthcare in real life as influenced by what they saw on television. There were many shows of the type, but GA was likely the most popular of its time.

Grey's Anatomy was roundly critized early on by the medical community for being inaccurate (sometimes grossly) and actually being harmful. Studies were funded, conducted, and published. And almost to a one, the results were clear: The information shown on television was inaccurate (sometimes completely). And was doing actual harm, because the misinformation was adversly affecting patient and caregiver decision making.

The pressure of these studies, along with the joined opinion of the profession, had an effect. Grey's Anatomy had a medical advisor. When approached by the medical media and the press, he publically acknowledged the problem and started to work with professional medical accrediation boards towards correcting inaccurate and misleading content. And inserting useful information. Along with disclaimers and reality checks.

So, back to your point. True, there will always be a small number of people who are unfortunately desperate to escape reality, and will likely stay confused between fictional dramas and reality. No blame there. But for the vast majority of the viewing public, public awareness of such phenomenona is the first key step (it worked here, didn't it?). And just as the industry stepped up its writing and content editing in Grey's Anatomy, they can easily do so again for CSI.

Which brings me to Ms. Jorja Fox. And her inane comment, "we're even more sure [of science] to the point where I would say, I don't know how anybody gets away with anything at all"

Yikes! She needs an intervention. And perhaps a life-style away from her soap opera show.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

15 year series was a phenomenon. Looking forward to see these characters again.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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