'It's Our Job to Know Stuff': The Epistemology of CSI

Document Type



Media Studies (Pomona)

Publication Date



knowledge, television, crime


This compilation of brief clips begins with a paradigmatic scene from episode 101 of CSI, "Cool Change," which lays out the show’s most basic philosophical premises: "It’s our job to know stuff," Grissom points out, but the importance of the origins of that knowledge is made clear as well. When Sara hints that Grissom might have relied on computer simulations for his data rather than tossing dummies off a building, Grissom responds somewhat defensively: "No, thank you. I’m a scientist. I like to see it." So does the audience, of course, but when we get to "see it," the irony is that (as in the second clip) it’s made possible precisely by the sophisticated computer simulations that Grissom eschews.

Rights Information

© 2007 Kathleen Fitzpatrick