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Science Cafe: Cotton, Color and the Courtroom

  • Thursday, December 10, 2015
  • 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Whether worn on the body, found under our feet, or used as part of high-strength, lightweight composite materials, fibers are ubiquitous worldwide. With more than 60 billion pounds of cotton grown each year, it is by far the natural fiber of choice throughout the world and an important part of a prosperous and innovative U.S. textile industry. While fibers play a pivotal role in our economy, they also help solve mysteries, particularly colored fibers. When found at crime scenes, they provide critical circumstantial evidence. Color and how it is perceived in textiles has fascinated people for hundreds of years. This talk will showcase examples of color illusions and how color and fiber science are being used today to generate economic prosperity and solve crimes.

Cotton growing in a field.

About the speaker

Dr. David Hinks is the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry and currently serves as Interim Dean of the College of Textiles and the Director of the emerging Forensic Sciences Institute at North Carolina State University. The College of Textiles is recognized throughout the world as the leading academic institution dedicated to textile education, discovery, innovation and service. Dr. Hinks’ research focuses on color perception and management, the development of environmentally responsible textile coloration, and finishing and development of improved methods for forensic analysis of dyes and fibers. He is a member of NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers, the Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension, and proudly serves on the North Carolina Forensic Science Advisory Board.


December 10, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Daily Planet Cafe

Nature Research Center
121 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601 United States


Katey Ahmann