On today’s show, our guest is Val McDermid, author of Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA, and More Tell Us about Crime (Grove Press, July 2015). McDermid is a crime novelist and tries to make her fiction as close to real life as possible. Writing Forensics, a nonfiction title that explores the science of crime scene investigation, allowed McDermid to learn even more about what she dramatizes—from “stringing” to understand more about blood spatter, to the stages of bug infestation in a corpse. We also kick off our series on world population: Pam Wasserman from Population Connection tells us about the history of oil wells in ancient China and how that has impacted population. You can check out Population Connection’s interactive map/timeline at www.worldpopulationhistory.org.

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