Staying true to the crime

05 October 2023 19:30 - 20:30 The Royal Society Free
Front of the Royal Society at Carlton House Terrace at night

Join a panel of experts as they explore what it takes to keep the science in much-loved crime novels and TV shows accurate.

This captivating panel discussion and Q&A delves into the world of crime fiction. Find out more about what it takes to keep the science in much-loved crime novels and TV shows accurate with our panel of experts.

Forensic chemist Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, crime writer Val McDermid and actress and screenwriter Amelia Bullmore will take us on a journey to unravel the secrets of forensic science and crime fiction in this conversation chaired by broadcaster Pennie Stuart.

Attending this event

  • The event is free to join and registration is not required
  • Live subtitles will be available in person and online
  • For all enquiries, please email

Attending in person

Attending live online

  • The event will also be livestreamed on the Royal Society YouTube channel
  • You can take part in the live Q&A which will be available on this page
  • This event will be recorded and the recording will be available on YouTube soon after the event

About the speakers

Professor Niamh Nic Daeid

Professor Niamh Nic Daeid is Director of the award winning Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) the 10 year mission is to provide a robust underpinning for the scientific evidence presented in our Courts. She is a Chartered Chemist and an authorised Forensic Chemist with specialisms including fire investigation, clandestine drug chemistry and explosives. She undertakes forensic casework, primarily in fire scene investigation and has appeared as an expert witness for the Courts. She has chaired the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) fire and explosion Investigation working group, the INTERPOL forensic science managers symposium and was deputy chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court.

Val McDermid

Dubbed the Queen of Crime, Val McDermid has sold over 17 million books to date across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. She has written three other series: private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon and, most recently, cold-case detective Karen Pirie, whose debut appearance in The Distant Echo is soon to become a major ITV series. She has also published in several award-winning standalone novels, books of non-fiction, short story collections and a children’s picture book, My Granny is a Pirate.

Amelia Bullmore

Amelia graduated from Manchester University Drama Department in 1986 and has been working as a writer and actor ever since. Her TV writing credits include Traces, Scott and Bailey, Attachments, This Life, and her theatre writing includes Mammals, Di and Viv and Rose, Ghosts (after Ibsen). Amelia's radio writing includes Craven, County Lines, The Bat Man, The Middle and Cashflow, and her acting work includes Gentleman Jack, Scott and Bailey, I’m Alan Partridge, The Larkins, Twenty Twelve, Big Train, Jam and State of Play.