Throughout its history the study of forensic entomology has not remained an esoteric science reserved only for entomologists and forensic scientists. Early twentieth-century popular scientific literature began to pique a broader interest in entomology. The very popular ten-volume book series, Alfred Brehem’s Thierleben (Life of Animals, 1876–1879) expounded on many zoological topics, including arthropods. The accessible writing style of French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre was also instrumental in the popularization of entomology. His collection of writings Souvenirs Entomologique, written during the last half of the 19th century, is especially useful because of the meticulous attention to detail to the observed insects’ behaviors and life cycles.
The real impetus behind the modern cultural fascination with solving crime using entomological evidence can be traced back to the works Faune de Tombeaux (Fauna of the Tomb, 1887) and Les Faunes des Cadavres (Fauna of the Cadaver, 1894) by French veterinarian and entomologist Jean Pierre Mégnin. These works made the concept of the process of insect ecological succession on a corpse understandable and interesting to an ordinary reader in a way that no other previous scientific work had done. It was after the publication of Mégnin’s work that the studies of forensic science and entomology became an established part of Western popular culture, which in turn inspired other scientists to continue and expand upon his research.
Read more about this topic: Forensic Entomology
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“...I have come to make distinctions between what I call the academy and literature, the moral equivalents of church and God. The academy may lie, but literature tries to tell the truth.”
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