Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US: a commentary on the PCAST report

I. W. Evett, C. E. H. Berger, J. S. Buckleton, C. Champod, Graham Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

A recent report by the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) [1] has made a number of recommendations for the future development of forensic science. Whereas we all agree that there is much need for change, we find that the PCAST report recommendations are founded on serious misunderstandings. We explain the traditional forensic paradigms of match and identification and the more recent foundation of the logical approach to evidence evaluation. This forms the groundwork for exposing many sources of confusion in the PCAST report. We explain how the notion of treating the scientist as a black box and the assignment of evidential weight through error rates is overly restrictive and misconceived. Our own view sees inferential logic, the development of calibrated knowledge and understanding of scientists as the core of the advance of the profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalForensic Science International
Volume278
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2017

Fingerprint

Forensic Sciences
Technology

Cite this

Evett, I. W., Berger, C. E. H., Buckleton, J. S., Champod, C., & Jackson, G. (2017). Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US: a commentary on the PCAST report. Forensic Science International, 278, 16-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.06.018

Evett, I. W.; Berger, C. E. H.; Buckleton, J. S.; Champod, C.; Jackson, Graham / Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US : a commentary on the PCAST report.

In: Forensic Science International, Vol. 278, 26.06.2017, p. 16-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{7ba71e51fc1c4f24bb595377b1b944fd,
title = "Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US: a commentary on the PCAST report",
abstract = "A recent report by the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) [1] has made a number of recommendations for the future development of forensic science. Whereas we all agree that there is much need for change, we find that the PCAST report recommendations are founded on serious misunderstandings. We explain the traditional forensic paradigms of match and identification and the more recent foundation of the logical approach to evidence evaluation. This forms the groundwork for exposing many sources of confusion in the PCAST report. We explain how the notion of treating the scientist as a black box and the assignment of evidential weight through error rates is overly restrictive and misconceived. Our own view sees inferential logic, the development of calibrated knowledge and understanding of scientists as the core of the advance of the profession.",
author = "Evett, {I. W.} and Berger, {C. E. H.} and Buckleton, {J. S.} and C. Champod and Graham Jackson",
year = "2017",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.06.018",
volume = "278",
pages = "16--23",
journal = "Forensic Science International",
issn = "0379-0738",
publisher = "Elsevier Ireland Ltd",

}

Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US : a commentary on the PCAST report. / Evett, I. W.; Berger, C. E. H.; Buckleton, J. S.; Champod, C.; Jackson, Graham.

In: Forensic Science International, Vol. 278, 26.06.2017, p. 16-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US

T2 - Forensic Science International

AU - Evett,I. W.

AU - Berger,C. E. H.

AU - Buckleton,J. S.

AU - Champod,C.

AU - Jackson,Graham

PY - 2017/6/26

Y1 - 2017/6/26

N2 - A recent report by the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) [1] has made a number of recommendations for the future development of forensic science. Whereas we all agree that there is much need for change, we find that the PCAST report recommendations are founded on serious misunderstandings. We explain the traditional forensic paradigms of match and identification and the more recent foundation of the logical approach to evidence evaluation. This forms the groundwork for exposing many sources of confusion in the PCAST report. We explain how the notion of treating the scientist as a black box and the assignment of evidential weight through error rates is overly restrictive and misconceived. Our own view sees inferential logic, the development of calibrated knowledge and understanding of scientists as the core of the advance of the profession.

AB - A recent report by the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) [1] has made a number of recommendations for the future development of forensic science. Whereas we all agree that there is much need for change, we find that the PCAST report recommendations are founded on serious misunderstandings. We explain the traditional forensic paradigms of match and identification and the more recent foundation of the logical approach to evidence evaluation. This forms the groundwork for exposing many sources of confusion in the PCAST report. We explain how the notion of treating the scientist as a black box and the assignment of evidential weight through error rates is overly restrictive and misconceived. Our own view sees inferential logic, the development of calibrated knowledge and understanding of scientists as the core of the advance of the profession.

U2 - 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.06.018

DO - 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.06.018

M3 - Review article

VL - 278

SP - 16

EP - 23

JO - Forensic Science International

JF - Forensic Science International

SN - 0379-0738

ER -

Evett IW, Berger CEH, Buckleton JS, Champod C, Jackson G. Finding the way forward for forensic science in the US: a commentary on the PCAST report. Forensic Science International. 2017 Jun 26;278:16-23. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.06.018