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Science and the Law: 2001 and 2002 National Conferences

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2004
86 pages
This report presents the proceedings of the Third and Fourth Annual Conferences on Science and the Law, convened in October 2001 and October 2002 in Florida.
The goal of the annual conferences is to bring together legal professionals, scientists, and academics to explore issues that jointly impact legal and scientific domains. The Third Annual Conference was held in Miami, FL, during October 2001 and focused on how scientists could best convey complex scientific information to juries. Related themes of the conference included the role of court-appointed expert witnesses, the development of standards for the collection and management of digital evidence, and the use of law enforcement personnel as expert witnesses. Additionally, conference sessions focused on falsified or flawed evidence and on whether eyewitness memory could be improved. Conference sponsors discussed the importance of bridging the science-law gap and tutorials were offered for scientists and legal professionals on understanding the other’s field. The conference also featured a mock trial on the use of digital evidence. The Fourth Annual Conference on Science and the Law was held during October 2003 in Miami and was concerned with the emerging trends in scientific evidence, particularly new issues regarding forensic DNA, ethical issues within the forensics field, the interpretation of scientific reports by attorneys, and the reliability of fingerprint evidence. Plenary panels were convened on counterterrorism and juries’ understanding of statistics. The keynote address focused on knowledge, power, and the evolving role of scientific evidence. Notes