Scientific America– February 8, 2010
The Laws of Science: How the unlikely partnership of a lawman and scientist is changing the face of modern crime fighting
By Desk Reporter Angie Snow
(Pictured – FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth and partner, Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan with the Jeffersonian)
"It's amazing what Bones can do," FBI Agent Seeley Booth remarks, referring to his partner, author (and frequent contributor to this magazine) Dr. Temperance Brennan. "She can just glance at a skeleton and shazaam! She can tell you the race, age, sex… everything. Even their favorite sport."
Bones? Upon further inquiry, the partners laugh, "Yeah, that's just a nickname he's come up with. Booth really didn't know anything at all about examining bones when we started working together, and to be honest, I think he was really reluctant to admit that examining bones were even necessary… So he just referred to me as 'Bones'… I think mostly because that's what he thought I contributed to the partnership."
Agent Booth instantly interrupts that he now finds Dr. Brennan much more valuable than "just the bones lady." The moniker seems to have stuck, for now.
This unlikely duo has become well known both within the ranks of the FBI and among local law enforcement over the past five years of their highly successful partnership. With the highest solve rate in the D.C. branch of FBI, Booth confirms that their partnership has recently undergone intense scrutiny so that other partnerships like it may be formed across the county.
"The partnering of law and science was pretty difficult at first," he admits, "But we've learned so much from each other that our cases have really benefitted."
One must wonder if the partnership has thrived from the delicate balance of science and justice or from the palpable devotion the couple clearly has for one another. During the middle of this interview, a group of men stopped by our table at the coffee shop to ask for Dr. Brennan's autograph on the copy of her latest book, "A Clean Break," out in bookstores everywhere today. Agent Booth immediately stood behind Dr. Brennan as she happily complied their request, scrutinizing each fan as though he were an imminent threat. The anthropologist later returned the favor, happily agreeing to watch the agent's son for the weekend when Booth received an unexpected message from his boss calling him away.
Why the extra care? "We've had some… incidents in the past in which Bones… Sorry, Brennan, was threatened. You know, guys who wouldn't really want someone this brilliant helping to catch them, that sort of thing." Booth slings an arm around the back of his partner's chair. "You can never be too careful."
Dr. Brennan nods, "It's true. We watch out for each other. Perhaps that's another reason we've been so successful. I've witnessed some very successful partnerships at the FBI, but it appears they're only work partners."
Only work partners? Dr. Brennan clarifies, "I mean to say, they only care about helping the other when it comes to work-related issues. Or they only discuss the case. We're more like… Life partners. We can read each other very well and genuinely care about what the other's dealing with. That attentiveness certainly bleeds into our working and personal relationship. Helps us stay on the same wavelength."
Judging from Agent Booth's reaction to Dr. Brennan's comments on being "life partners," this reporter is certain there's more to it than just that. But for now, the two are coming close to five years of a successful, if unorthodox partnership.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: YES, I KNOW THIS IS A BIT FLUFFY, BUT THIS ARTICLE IS NECESSARY TO PREFACE THE STORY COMING UP - WHICH WILL BE MOSTLY DRAMA, WITH A BIT OF B/B SHIPPING IN THERE, OF COURSE. (JUST LIKE THE SHOW!) I MAY NOT KNOW ALL THE SCIENTIFIC WORDS NECESSARY, I MAY NOT BE SUPER UP-TO-DATE ON MY LEGALESE, BUT I DO KNOW THAT I LIKE COCKY BELT BUCKLES, ROXIE AND TONY, AND WRITING FOR REVIEWS. :) THANKS FOR READING - HOPE TO SEE YOU IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!