Prime time diatoms …

Back in May last year, I wrote about Arthur Scott Donkin, a Victorian forensic pathologist who was an amateur microscopist with a penchant for diatoms.   Donkin would probably be surprised to hear that diatoms now play a role in forensic science, and that he missed the chance to combine his hobby and day job.   UK readers might be interested in a recent episode of the crime drama Silent Witness, where diatoms have a walk-on part, though I cannot comment on the veracity of the example itself.   Suffice it to say that my limited experience as an expert witness is enough for me to be fairly confident that a forensic pathologist would not be cross-examined on the diatom evidence.  The good news, if you have a limited tolerance for TV crime dramas, is that diatoms have their fifteen minutes of fame close to the start of episode one.