The Central Reference Department was filled on Wednesday night with an audience intent on hearing about the role forensic science has in the writing of contemporary crime fiction, and the pros and cons of dna testing.
Lin Anderson, the creator of Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, enthused about the usefulness of worms and the perils of leaving your chewing gum lying about.
Ian Rankin discussed the pitfalls of dna testing and the importance of editing out much detail in the interests of narrative flow.
And by the time Steve Sturdy took the floor the debate had moved to the different approaches to dna testing and record holding adopted by England and Scotland, and how criminals can use and corrupt police practices.
Ken MacLeod, science fiction writer and writer-in-residence with the Genomics Policy and Resource Forum ably apportioned the questions from the floor.