Forensic science 2020–the end of the crossroads?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2018, 50 (6), pp. 607 - 618
Issue Date:
2018-11-02
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Forensic science has been at the crossroads for over a decade. While this situation is a fertile ground for discussion, security problem solving and the sound administration of justice cannot be put on hold until solutions pleasing everyone emerge. In all practical reality, forensic science will continue to be applied because it is simply the most reliable way to reconstruct the past through the exploitation of relics of criminal activities and by logical treatment of the collected information. In this paper, it is argued that instead of exclusively focusing on error management and processes, we should also question the very ontological nature of forensic science. Not only should the dominant conception of forensic sciences as a patchwork of disciplines assisting the criminal justice system be challenged, but forensic science’s own fundamental principles should also be better enunciated and promoted so they can be more broadly accepted and understood. Such changes invite operations, education and research to become more collective and interdisciplinary. This is necessary to fully exploit the investigative, epidemiological, court and social functions of forensic science. We ought to ask the question: will forensic science reach the end of the crossroads soon?.
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