True Crime & Forensic Pathology with Neil deGrasse Tyson

In this episode of Star Talk, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chuck Nice discuss forensic pathology with two special guests, Patricia Cornwell and Dr. Jonathan Hayes. Dr. Hayes explains that forensic pathology involves examining the bodies of victims of violent, unnatural, or suspicious deaths, and the autopsy process includes examining the body's external and internal organs, conducting additional tests for drugs or DNA, and preparing an autopsy report. The guests also discuss the importance of determining the exact cause of death, especially in cases of altercation or fight, and the emotional challenges of working in the field.

Cornwell and Hayes also discuss the role of storytelling in forensic pathology, with Cornwell emphasizing the need to invoke the senses and emotions in order to accurately portray a story, while Hayes notes the positive impact of forensic science fiction in attracting people to the field. They also discuss the increasing number of women entering the field of forensics and the popularity of forensic shows in popular culture.

The episode also covers the potential for forensic pathology in space, with Cornwell discussing her latest book about a crime in low earth orbit and the unique scientific considerations that would need to be taken into account in such cases. The hosts and guests also discuss the potential for AI to conduct investigations in the future and the biases that humans may have in pattern recognition.

Overall, the episode provides an insightful look into the world of forensic pathology and the importance of determining the cause of death, as well as the potential for the field to evolve in the future with advancements in technology and the exploration of space.