The forensic scientist's fame isn't always related to a hot case. For example, forensic biologists have done a series of experiments to help catch bombers. They've found that although DNA on the bomb itself doesn't usually survive the explosion, DNA on the backpack that held the bomb does. For one, the backpack will blow up along with whatever explosive item inside it, but the coarse fibers are much more conducive to snagging and holding onto DNA than a smooth pipe bomb. The forensic biologists who found out that those fibers could help provide clues behind the bomb are being applauded in identifying a new way to pinpoint a bomber, a method that previously had not been used.
In such a rapidly growing field, there are lots of opportunities for someone with the right idea to figure out something brand new, offering plenty of opportunities for recognition.
The upside is that if a crime is solved (although it usually takes longer than the 45 minutes with three commercial breaks), you can count on a great sense of accomplishment. Not only do they help to solve a complex crime, they play a part in restoring justice. And that's got to feel pretty darn good.