For Mystery Novels With Accurate Scientific Detail, A Badge Of Authenticity

Get the science right, get a stamp from the Washington Academy of Sciences.

Raymond Chandler

Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Academy of Sciences is offering a different kind of peer review: they'll take a look at your mystery book, and if it's up to scientific snuff, give it a literal stamp of approval.

WAS Seal Of Approval

Washington Academy of Science via BBC

For too long, WAS says, crime- and thriller-fiction writers have skimped on plausible plotlines, passing manuscripts off to editors who won't check to see if their facts are straight. And with new-fangled tech cropping up, it's getting harder all the time for writers to write about mysteries convincingly. As an alternative, the writers can hand their work over to WAS. If it passes muster, they'll give it a "Peer Reviewed & Approved for Science" button.

The BBC points out exactly why we need this. DNA testing and the War on Terror fundamentally changed crime novels: the old gumshoe detective writers who didn't need to know much more than how a telephone worked and a lie looked on a face might need the extra hand nowadays.

Makes you wonder how Dashiell Hammett would describe a centrifuge.