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Fifty Years of Forensic Science: A Commentary

ISBN: 978-0-470-68400-9
320 pages
March 2010
Fifty Years of Forensic Science: A Commentary  (0470684003) cover image
Over the last half century, the science and practice of forensic science has undergone dramatic changes. Since the early 1960s the technological developments and their application to forensic science have been immense. Not only that, the application of science within a legal context and framework has developed enormously, as has the evaluation of the analytical results obtained. This unique text looks at the changes and challenges within forensic science over the last fifty years through a continuous diary of development witnessed by the editorials and relevant correspondence delivered through the UK Forensic Science Societies’ journal Science and Justice (formally the Journal of the Forensic Science Society).

The editorials are divided into sections relating to the developments of forensic practice, the advancement of science, education, legal aspects, forensic science and medicine, the international dimension of forensic science and the interpretation and evaluation of evidence. The text and first two sections are set in context by an introductory chapter written by Professor Brian Caddy examining the future of forensic science.

A key text that traces the historical development of forensic science through reflective editorials published in the journal Science and Justice, and the Journal of the Forensic Science Society

Includes introductory chapter by Professor Brian Caddy

Divided into themed sections to reflect current commentary and debate

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Preface

Introduction

SECTION I: THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

1 (1) - 1960 Criminal aspects of forensic science in Great Britain

4 (2) - 1964 Forensic science or sciences?

4 (4) - 1964 Shriving a science

5 (1) - 1965 A public image

5 (2) - 1965 Don’t forget them in Swahililand

6 (2) - 1966 The vacant headquarters

9 (2a) - 1969 Six just men

9 (2b) - 1969 “A forensic scientist?”

13 (3) - 1973 I hold every man a debtor to his profession

14 (2) - 1974 Police perimeters – politics or planning

17 (4) - 1977 Theory and practice

20 (3) - 1980 Forensic Science – a broader basis

21 (1) - 1981 General practice in forensic science

24 (6) - 1984 Does forensic science have a future?

24 (6) - 1985 Does forensic science have a future?

25 (1) - 1985 But is it anything?

25 (1) - 1985 But is it anything?

25 (5) - 1985 Towards expert experts

26 (2) - 1986 Doctrine, Science, Belief, Evidence

26 (4) - 1986 The Forensic Science Society – a way forward?

26 (5) - 1986 All systems go?

27 (2) - 1987 Police productivity

29 (1) - 1989 Professional qualifications – a milestone

30 (5) - 1990 Brave New World

31 (2) - 1991 “Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher”

31 (4) - 1991 Forensic science on the quality track

32 (2) - 1992 But is this being professional?

32 (4) - 1992 Can we help you, sir?

33 (3) - 1993 Is this where the buck stops?

34 (1) - 1994 An expert what?

34 (2) - 1994 Quo vadis?

35 (1) - 1995 Does forensic science give value for money?

35 (3) - 1995 Rensacor

35 (4) - 1995 Lest we forget

36 (3) - 1996 Forensic futurology

36 (4) - 1996 Ambivalence – a problem for forensic science

37 (1) - 1997 Private or public

37 (3) - 1997 Jobs for the boys

38 (1) - 1998 Proactive forensic science

38 (4) - 1998 SOP or CPD, place your bets

39 (1) - 1999 Forensic apartheid?

39 (2) - 1999 Let me through, I’m a ummmm . . .

39 (3) - 1999 Something nasty hiding . . .

39 (4) - 1999 From Bach to Schoenberg

42 (2) - 2002 A professional body for forensic scientists

45 (1) - 2005 Professionalism – duties and privileges

45 (3) - 2005 Who guards the guards?

45 (4) - 2005 Everything changes and nothing is constant

47 (2) - 2007 Eight years on

47 (2) - 2007 Eight years on – Regulation of Forensic Physicians and the CRFP

47 (3) - 2007 CPD, an effective means of professional development. . .or is it?

48 (1) - 2008 President of the Forensic Science Society

48 (3) - 2008 The forensic science regulator

SECTION II: SCIENTIFIC DEVELOPMENTS AND RESEARCH

2 (2) - 1961 The individuality of human bloodstaining

3 (1) - 1962 A breakthrough in forensic science

4 (1) - 1963 Driving over the level

4 (1) - 1963 Science before the fact

5 (4b) - 1964 The price of road safety

6 (1) - 1965 Progress in research

7 (4) - 1966 Demanding scientific evidence

9 (4) - 1968 Computer control

11 (2) - 1971 The defeat of the tail-gater

11 (3) - 1971 The New Zealand approach

14 (1) - 1974 Back to basics

16 (3b) - 1976 An independent witness required

19 (4) - 1979 Publish or perish

22 (2) - 1982 But is it science . . .

22 (3) - 1982 Hair today . . .

25 (2) - 1985 On body fluid frequencies

26 (1) - 1986 Publish or perish revisited

27 (1) - 1987 Through the looking glass

29 (6) - 1989 The highest order common sense

30 (1) - 1990 Profile of the Nineties

30 (6) - 1990 Official publications

33 (4) - 1993 DNA or Abracadabra

36 (1) - 1996 To research or capitulate?

36 (2) - 1996 Fireproof DNA?

37 (4) - 1997 Where will all the forensic scientists go?

40 (1) - 2000 Wizards and gatekeepers at the roadside?

40 (3) - 2000 The consent of the governed

41 (1) - 2001 The use of material from the dead in forensic science research: is it lawful and is it ethical?

43 (1) - 2003 Hunting truffles

44 (1) - 2004 Reiterative justice?

45 (2) - 2005 Science & Justice – DNA and the courts

47 (4) - 2007 DNA – what’s next?

48 (4) - 2008 Do we value research?

49 (1) - 2009 Lessons from the past

49 (2) - 2009 IRMS

SECTION III: EVALUATION AND INTERPRETATION OF EVIDENCE

19 (3) - 1979 Away with the fuzz

23 (1) - 1983 Patience

23 (1a) - 1983 Statistics and forensic science – a fruitful partnership

23 (1b) - 1983 The probability of exclusion or likelihood of guilt of an accused: Paternity

23 (1c) - 1983 The probability of non-discrimination or likelihood of guilt of an accused: Criminal Identification

23 (1d) - 1983 What is the probability that this blood came from that person? A meaningful question?

23 (1e) - 1983 A frame of reference or Garbage in, Garbage out

23 (4) - 1983 On circumstantial evidence

26 (3) - 1986 Evaluation of associative physical evidence

26 (3a) - 1987 The use of statistics in forensic science.

26 (3b) - 1987 The use of statistics in forensic science.

28 (3) - 1988 Heads we win

37 (2) - 1997 Does justice require less precision than chemistry?

43 (2) - 2003 Sally Clark – a lesson for us all

44 (2) - 2004 Context-free forensic science

46 (1) - 2006 Lies, damn lies and statistics

SECTION IV: EDUCATION IN FORENSIC SCIENCES

2 (1) - 1961 Research and teaching in forensic science

2 (1) - 1961 A preliminary survey of education and research in the forensic sciences in the United Kingdom

9 (1&2) - 1968 Education in forensic science

11 (1) - 1971 What is the future for the study and practice of the forensic sciences in Britain?

16 (2) - 1976 The Greeks had a word for it

44 (4) - 2004 Wither academic forensic science?

48 (2) - 2008 Educating the next generation

48 (4) - 2008 Educating the next generation.

48 (4) - 2008 Educating the next generation.

49 (1) - 2009 Educating the next generation.

SECTION V: FORENSIC SCIENCE AND THE LAW

1 (2) - 1960 An expert witness looks at the courts

3 (2) - 1962 The design of law courts

6 (4) - 1965 Bowlers, brollies and bi-focals

8 (1) - 1967 The expert witness

8 (2) - 1967 Two encouraging cases

10 (1) - 1970 Law and order

12 (2) - 1972 There is a time to speak

12 (3) - 1972 Not Pygmalion likely

12 (4) - 1972 Where have all the lawyers gone?

13 (2) - 1973 An honest opinion

15 (3) - 1975 Modern times

16 (3a) - 1976 A camel is a horse. . .

17 (2&3) - 1977 The four letter swear word

18 (3&4) - 1978 Not for the faint hearted

19 (2) - 1979 Preliminary hearings – just or unjust – justified or unjustified

20 (2) - 1980 The canons of expertise

24 (2) - 1984 Have you heard the one about . . . . . .

24 (5) - 1984 Master or servant?

25 (4) - 1985 Don’t Panic

27 (4) - 1987 Philosophy and obligations of a state-funded forensic science laboratory

27 (5) - 1987 Answers are easy

29 (2) - 1989 Science and law, a marriage of opposites

34 (3) - 1994 The image of the scientist and the lawyer

38 (2) - 1998 The role of the forensic scientist in an inquisitorial system of justice

40 (2) - 2000 And what of the evidence!

41 (3) - 2001 The boundaries of expert evidence

41 (4) - 2001 Reform of the criminal justice system in England and Wales

42 (3) - 2002 Justice in a goldfish bowl

42 (4) - 2002 Gristle in the sausage. . .

43 (3) - 2003 Coroners – what next for death investigation in England and Wales?

44 (3) - 2004 The Human Tissue Bill – an opportunity about to be missed?

46 (2) - 2006 All’s fair in love and war

SECTION VI: FORENSIC MEDICINE

5 (4a) - 1964 The smallest room but one

7 (3) - 1966 Decline and fall

10 (3) - 1970 How much specialisation in pathology can we afford?

12 (1) - 1972 “The six-and-a-half-year itch”

13 (4) - 1973 For action this day

14 (4) - 1974 Chair legs wanted

15 (2) - 1975 That muddy field

16 (1) - 1976 A national medico-legal service for Scotland

19 (1) - 1979 Sudden death of British nationals abroad – problem for pathologists, coroners and relatives

41 (2) - 2001 “Best value” in forensic pathology

42 (1) - 2002 Herding cats

SECTION VII: AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF FORENSIC SCIENCE

9 (3) - 1968 Another Academy

15 (4) - 1975 International co-operation in forensic science

17 (1) - 1977 Crime in the cornfields

23 (2) - 1983 Reaching out

24 (1) - 1984 1984 and all that

27 (3) - 1987 Forensic science and the justice system in the late Twentieth Century

29 (4) - 1989 Echoes of Empire

30 (2) - 1990 A matter of choice

30 (4) - 1990 They threatened its life with a railway share

38 (3) - 1998 International forensic science

40 (4) - 2000 Courts, politicians and constitutions

46 (3) - 2006 It’s a big World out there

Index

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