Forensic Science: The Nexus of Science and the Law

July 05, 2005

What: Forensic Science: The Nexus of Science and Law

When: Nov. 16-18, 2005

Where: National Academy of Sciences
2100 C St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court introduced a new approach for the admissibility of scientific evidence in court (Daubert v. Merrell Dow), setting aside the 70-year old Fry standard of general acceptance in the scientific community. In 2002, a federal judge, building on the Daubert approach, questioned the scientific basis of fingerprint evidence and reignited old challenges to forensic science more broadly (United States v. Plaza, E.D.Pa.).

As technology has improved, what new forensic science methods have been developed? How reliable are new and older forensic science methods? And how will the courts respond to novel scientific evidence?

During this program, expert panelists will address these questions and examine the basic science underlying forensic technologies. They'll also discuss forensic science from the viewpoint of government forensic laboratories, and from the perspective of the courts -- which must ultimately judge whether evidence should be admitted.

A program, list of expert speakers, and registration information is available online. Those who wish to attend MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE at
This program is part of the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia series of the National Academy of Sciences. The colloquia are designed to address scientific topics of broad and current interest, cutting across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Each year, four to six such colloquia are developed. These meetings feature presentations by leading scientists in the field and discussions with a hundred or more researchers. These colloquia are made possible by a generous gift from Jill Sackler, in memory of her husband, Arthur M. Sackler.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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