Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program Featured in Discover Magazine Article

Fire Lab photo

Eastern Kentucky University’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program is prominently featured in an article entitled “False Convictions: The New Science of Arson” in the November 2011 issue of Discover magazine.

The article (http://discovermagazine.com/2011/nov/12-spark-truth-science-bring-justice-arson-trials) details how fire researchers “have shattered dozens of arson myths in recent years” and investigates why the American court system has lagged behind. The lead photograph for the eight-page spread was taken at an EKU test burn site.

Some of that research has taken place at the EKU fire lab, as the article vividly describes an exercise involving EKU faculty, graduate students and others.

After quoting several experts and studies, the article concludes that “better science is beginning to produce better justice.”

The article was authored by Douglas Starr, co-director of the graduate programs in Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University. His most recent book is “The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science.”

This is not the first time EKU’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program has been in the national spotlight. Last year, a crew from ABC TV’s “20/20” came to the Richmond campus and spent a day at the University’s test burn site near the Ashland Building, looking at how some artifacts of a fire could be viewed as indicators of arson.

EKU’s College of Justice & Safety offers four distinct degree programs in the areas of fire and safety: Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation; Fire Protection Administration; Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology; and Occupational Safety.

Published on October 19, 2011