• DNA

    The Future of Forensic Science Initiative

    Forensic Science Transformed to Provide Justice for All

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

Crime Scene Investigations – An Informative Conversation and Overview of CSI Procedures

Ken Pomeranz | March 17, 2021
2pm, Zoom

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This presentation will cover the methodology of how crime scene investigators process crime scenes, coupled with actual case examples to give you insight into the real workings of CSI. Warning - this presentation will include graphic and potentially disturbing images. There will be an informal question & answer session at the end of the presentation in order to answer any general questions you may have.


 

Past Events

 

Microplastics meets Sherlock Holmes: How Forensic Science Can be Used to Tackle the Plastic Pollution Problem

Claire Gwinnett | March 3, 2021
2pm, Zoom
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The problem of plastic pollution is a relatively new one compared to crime but is one that needs a multidisciplinary approach to solve it. This presentation will focus upon the benefits of employing other scientific disciplines in improving and standardizing microplastic analysis, particularly those disciplines which require the same questions to be asked of the samples and also both require fast and effective analysis techniques. This presentation will introduce techniques employed in forensic science, specifically forensic fiber analysis, which have been a fundamental part of criminal investigations for over 50

years. The analytical techniques available to the forensic fiber examiner can also be employed for microplastic analysis with additional benefits for the interpretation of microplastic particulates. The what, where, when and how questions asked of fibers in a criminal case can also be asked of microplastics in our water environments leading to a better understanding of ‘source’ level information and enabling effective mitigation activities to be introduced. This presentation will outline the work of Staffordshire University’s Microplastic and Forensic Fibers Research Group who bring together technology and best practice from disciplines such as forensic science, computer vision, machine learning, data science and environmental monitoring to provide solutions to the plastic pollution problem.


 Future of Forensic Science Working Group 2021

February 24, 2021 

9am, Zoom

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 Splitting Hairs: The Watershed Investigation That Exposed the FBI’s Use of Flawed Forensic Hair Analysis 

Lindsay Herf and Hope DeLap | February 3, 2021
2pm, Zoom

Since the 1930s, FBI Crime Lab analysts have conducted microscopic hair examinations and trained state lab examiners. In 2012, the FBI began to investigate testimony by their hair examiners and identified improper testimony in 90% of cases between 1978 and 1999. The astounding results of the audit led the FBI and DOJ to strongly recommend individual state reviews of hair comparison testimony. Starting in 2017, the Justice Project worked with a state task force to review Arizona hair microscopy cases. To date, there have been more than 300 DNA exonerations across the country; erroneous hair testimony was a contributing factor in approximately 25% of those exonerations. The investigation into the FBI Crime Lab has highlighted the need for greater scrutiny of forensic disciplines and standards for forensic testimony.


 

To Err is Human: Cognitive Bias in Forensic Science

Jeff Kuckuka | January 20, 2020
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Contrary to its reputation, forensic science errors have contributed to myriad wrongful convictions. In this talk, Dr. Kuckuka will describe his research on the causes and consequences of bias and error in the forensic sciences, including various reform measures that have been met with a mix of enthusiasm and resistance.


Forensic Science Seminar

Lauren Weidner | Spring


AAAS presentation and press conference for paper, "Psychological Assessments in Legal Contexts: Are Courts Keeping "Junk Science" Out of the Courtroom?" 

Tess Neal and Michael Saks | February 15, 2020


FFSI Working Group at Skysong, including UNSW colleagues Drs. Kristy Martire and Gary Edmond

March 2-3, 2020


Forensic Evidence Admissibility: A Retrospective, invited panelist, Forensic Science Ten Years after the National Research Council Report, Houston Law Review Symposium, Houston, TX

Valena Beety | Sept. 19, 2019


"Revelatory Isotopes: Using Geology to Identify Victims of Homicide, War, and Mass Disasters" at the ASU CISA Science and Mathematics Colloqium Series 

Gwyn Gordon | Sept. 12, 2018

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