Private Funding for Forensic Science Assessments: A Quality and Gap Analysis

Comment: Notable in this announcement from the AAAS are the echoes of  previous narratives from various US forensic governmental oversight committees such as the National Research Council (NAS), NCFS, Congressional subcommittees and such. Funding of forensic science research is paltry in comparison to funding of its principle client , the US criminal justice system. Since its research generally takes place in third-tier colleges and universities or law enforcement related agencies, the possibility of new funding for validity testing of decades-long court accepted police science is encouraging. The fact that this funding is from a private organization seems extraordinary.

What I hope will not be repeated is excessive incorporation of proponents of the much maligned bitemark club. 


Excerpts from the AAAS

With funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, AAAS will conduct an analysis of the underlying scientific bases for the forensic tools and methods currently used in the criminal justice system. This project will evaluate the quality of the studies the forensic community relies on to support its practices and, where the scientific underpinning of these practices falls short, recommend a research agenda for the field.


Working groups will be appointed for each forensic field, and a distinguished Advisory Committee will advise on every aspect of the overall project.


The project’s impact will be transformational for the criminal justice system, enabling the public to have confidence that the ability to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent is enhanced.


Forensic Disciplines

  1. Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  2. Digital Evidence
  3. Fire Investigations
  4. Firearms and Toolmarks/Ballistics
  5. Footwear and Tire Tracks
  6. Forensic Odontology- Bitemark Analysis
  7. Latent Fingerprints
  8. Trace Evidence- Fibers
  9. Trace Evidence- Hair
  10. Trace Evidence- Paint & Other coatings

Read the full article from the AAAS.

Thanks to The Forensic Science Daily


About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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