The Forensic Science Society and California Association of Criminalist joint Autumn Conference and AGM 2013

  • Conference Call
  • The Foren­sic Sci­ence Soci­ety and Cal­i­for­nia Asso­ci­a­tion of Crim­i­nal­ists joint Autumn con­fer­ence, AGM 2013 & awards din­ner will take place on 6 – 8 Novem­ber 2013 at The Mer­cure Man­ches­ter Pic­cadilly, Man­ches­ter, United King­dom.

    This con­fer­ence pro­vides a unique oppor­tu­nity for those active in the field of human iden­ti­fi­ca­tion meth­ods (DNA, fin­ger­prints and bio­met­rics), to net­work with & to show­case their work to stake­hold­ers includ­ing the police, acad­e­mia, foren­sic sci­ence providers, research coun­cils and gov­ern­ment facilities.

    Aims /​Objec­tives

    Aim: To address the align­ment of foren­sic sci­ence research and devel­op­ment with the needs of the jus­tice sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly the enhance­ment of pub­lic safety. The recov­ery & pro­vi­sion of sci­en­tific evi­dence is cru­cial and as such the con­fer­ence will:

    1. Tackle some of the on-​going issues and irri­ta­tions through facil­i­tated debate
    2. Demon­strate the value of foren­sic sci­ence in the inves­tiga­tive process.
    3. Iden­tify gaps and new oppor­tu­ni­ties for applied research in the UK and internationally.

    Call for Papers/​Posters

    There will be eight themes cov­er­ing areas such as Crime Scene, Dig­i­tal Iden­tity, DNA, Fin­ger­prints, Bio­met­rics, Human Iden­tity, Qual­ity and a catch all theme enti­tled R&D I just wish (a chance to air your views on some­thing which has been bug­ging you for years.) Del­e­gates are invited to sub­mit their work for either an oral pre­sen­ta­tion or poster presentation.

    Late sub­mis­sions may be sub­mit­ted. The Sci­ence Com­mit­tee will review the sci­en­tific con­tent of each sub­mis­sion to ensure they meet the over­all aim and theme of the conference.

    Con­fer­ence Topics

    The Foren­sic Sci­ence Spe­cial Inter­est Group will be lead­ing their own theme dur­ing the con­fer­ence enti­tled “How to take foren­sic sci­ence research to mar­ket. For more infor­ma­tion on this ses­sion, please click here.

    Crime Scene

    The exam­i­na­tion of a scene is so much more than …”see-​it, bag-​it, tag-​it”… The Crime Scene Inves­ti­ga­tor needs suit­able record­ing and recov­ery tech­niques as well as effec­tive pack­ag­ing mate­ri­als. Inno­v­a­tive research and devel­op­ment to address these issues includ­ing the range of con­tact traces and other mate­ri­als dealt with and the eval­u­a­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion of sci­en­tific evi­dence, is needed.

    Biometrics

    Papers address­ing all aspects of com­pu­ta­tional or pat­tern recog­ni­tion based bio­met­rics are sought includ­ing: face recog­ni­tion, iris recog­ni­tion, ear recog­ni­tion, vein pat­tern recog­ni­tion, speaker recog­ni­tion, gait recog­ni­tion, and mul­ti­modal or other bio­met­ric tech­nolo­gies rel­e­vant to foren­sic sci­ence; auto­mated recog­ni­tion of cloth­ing or ‘logos’; approaches to mea­sure­ment from images; com­pu­ta­tional behav­iour recog­ni­tion; novel com­pu­ta­tional approaches to der­mato­glyphic or other print com­par­i­son; sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods rel­e­vant to indi­vid­ual iden­ti­fi­ca­tion; man­ual, semi-​automated and auto­mated anthro­po­met­ric approaches to indi­vid­ual iden­ti­fi­ca­tion from images; meth­ods for bio­met­ric /​image data­base acqui­si­tion and search­ing; as well as inves­tiga­tive man­age­ment sys­tems for CCTV image evidence.

    DNA

    The DNA ele­ment of the con­fer­ence will focus on novel sci­en­tific advances in the field including:

    • DNA for identification
    • Intel­li­gence uses of DNA
    • Epi­ge­net­ics & ways to enhance the con­tex­tual use­ful­ness of DNA evidence
    • Advances in DNA interpretation

    In addi­tion to novel sci­en­tific advances, we will review areas of con­tro­versy, includ­ing court chal­lenges, error rates and con­t­a­m­i­na­tion issues, con­cen­trat­ing on tools and tech­niques to enhance performance.

    Human Identity

    Over the last 20 years there have been con­sid­er­able advances in tech­niques for iden­ti­fy­ing unknown human remains that are in an advanced state of composition/​skeletalisation. These approaches have been suc­cess­fully applied to both crim­i­nal cases and the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of war dead, includ­ing remains from First World war and sub­se­quent 20th cen­tury conflicts.

    Advances in DNA tech­nol­ogy have improved the final phase of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion where com­par­isons can be made between pro­files recov­ered from the deceased and sur­viv­ing fam­ily mem­bers. How­ever a num­ber of other tech­niques, includ­ing phys­i­cal anthro­pol­ogy, cranio-​facial recon­struc­tion, recon­struc­tion of degraded cloth­ing and per­sonal effects and sta­ble light iso­tope and radi­ogenic iso­tope analy­sis, have been used to nar­row down the num­ber of poten­tial com­par­isons needed for DNA analysis.

    Case stud­ies are sought that will demon­strate util­ity in both crim­i­nal case­work and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of war dead.

    Dig­i­tal Identity/​Forensics

    Dig­i­tal & Elec­tronic Foren­sics (e-​forensics) are a major part of 21st cen­tury polic­ing and research and devel­op­ment is key to address­ing the expo­nen­tial change and growth in tech­nol­ogy to main­tain oper­a­tional and inves­tiga­tive capa­bil­ity.
    The Dig­i­tal Foren­sic theme will cover: data recov­ery from com­put­ers, mobile devices (Smart­phones & Tablets), Smart devices (Smart TVs & Smart meters) and vehi­cle elec­tron­ics, and analy­sis and inter­pre­ta­tion of Video, Audio and Cell Site data. Papers are sought in all of the above areas.

    Qual­ity Standards

    Given the many changes which have taken place in the foren­sic arena the issue of qual­ity is at the fore­front of many minds. Police forces are look­ing at in-​house pro­vi­sion but it is imper­a­tive that this is car­ried out in accor­dance with appro­pri­ate qual­ity standards.

    Empha­sis on tighter bud­gets and value for money may impact resources, but where qual­ity is con­cerned the ques­tion is “can you afford not to do it?”

    Fingerprints

    Fin­ger­prints as a means of human iden­ti­fi­ca­tion have long made a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Sys­tem. How­ever, in recent years the dis­ci­pline has been the focus of some high pro­file reviews which have increased the appetite for research and devel­op­ment activ­ity through­out the fin­ger­print profession.

    The con­fer­ence extends an oppor­tu­nity for the sub­mis­sion of papers relat­ing to the theme and par­tic­u­larly in areas such as cog­ni­tive influ­ence and the sub­jec­tive nature of fin­ger­print iden­ti­fi­ca­tion as well as the appli­ca­tion of sta­tis­ti­cal rea­son­ing to fin­ger­print identification.

    R&D — I just wish

    For many years we have looked to inno­va­tors to stretch the bound­aries of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy to bring for­ward fresh ideas and new tech­nolo­gies that help us improve the way we deal with crim­i­nal­ity. The cur­rent envi­ron­ment requires us to look even fur­ther across all sec­tors and dis­ci­plines to develop and enhance our approach to the appli­ca­tion of sci­ence in the courts.

    This theme is focussed on con­sid­er­ing the prob­lems and oppor­tu­ni­ties that need a fresh approach, and look­ing to har­vest inno­va­tion that will bring a step change to the way we apply foren­sic sci­ence. Exam­ples of this cat­e­gory ‘I just wish we could’ are

    • Eas­ily visu­alise and recover evi­dence from crime scenes
    • Trans­mit infor­ma­tion quickly for analysis
    • Speed up and improve the analy­sis and inter­pre­ta­tion of evidence
    • Fuse infor­ma­tion from evi­dence types together

    We are look­ing for novel approaches and inno­v­a­tive ideas to be sur­faced and dis­cussed between sci­en­tists and end users that can bridge the gap between aspi­ra­tion and application.

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