Consultants Talk Scientific Accuracy

By Caillan
April 1, 2003 - 12:43 PM

Two CSI: Crime Scene Investigation staff recently spoke about their efforts to make sure every episode is scientifically plausible.

"People aren't stupid," David Berman told Mercury News. "If something feels phony, it's a big turnoff." Berman is probably best known to CSI fans for his recurring role of David Phillips, but the actor has also served as a reasearcher on the series since day one, having previously worked in the same capacity on Profiler.

Since February 2002, the series has benefited from the advice of Dr. Gregory Schmunk, the coroner of Santa Clara county, where CSI is filmed. "He immediately struck me as not only extremely intelligent and happy to help, but just a wonderful resource," Berman said.

As a coroner, Schmunk often attends crime scenes and helps the police with homicide investigations, which gives him a unique real-life perspective on the events played out on the television series every week. Despite his field experience, the writers usually call him up to request anatomical details.

"For example, if somebody gets shot through the chest, they'll want me to describe what structures are hit. I'll say the bullet will go in the fifth intercostal space, penetrate the edge of the left lung, penetrate the left ventricle of the heart...and then lodge in the eighth thoracic vertebrae, or something like that."

However, Schmunk said he doesn't get paid for lending his scientific know-how to the show's writers. "But I do get hats," he quipped.

The complete article is available here at Mercury News.

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