Public analysts are responsible for the safety and quality of our foods and check that the labels give us correct information. These highly-skilled analytical scientists also test a wide range of consumer goods as well as water and air samples. Below are a few recent case studies of work carried out by members of the APA.
The First Forensic Scientists?
Glenn Taylor has collected memories and anecdotes from many practising and retired Public Analysts and produced a light read into forensic science outlining the history and their role. Over the last 150 years, the Public Analyst profession has hidden its light under a bushel and now it is time to tell their story with this collection of memoirs. Their accounts of samples submitted to them, how they analysed them, and the tales that unfolded, make for a fascinating insight into the field. See http://www.rsc.org/Shop/books/2010/9781847558718.asp for more details.
Fredrick Accum was a bit of a showman as well as one of the first people to apply chemistry to the detection of food adulteration. He published the names and addresses of food adulterers in the early 19th century. Over the last 150 years, the Public Analyst profession who took up Accum and Hassall's work, has hidden its light under a bushel. This group of chemists has quietly protected the public from food fraud and adulteration. Using their forensic skills to find traces of poison and other deleterious materials in our food and guiding the Courts and legal profession through complex scientific evidence, it has undersold itself to the public. It is time to tell their story with this collection of memoirs from many practising and retired Public Analysts. Their accounts of samples submitted to them, how they analysed them, and the tales that unfolded, make for a fascinating insight into the field.