Leading Forensic Scientists Gather in Seattle for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting

February 11, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ — The 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) will take place February 22-27, 2010, at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in downtown Seattle. This year’s theme, Putting Our Forensic House in Order: Determining Validation and Expelling Incompetence, picks up on the February 2009 Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

The issuance of the NAS Report triggered a storm of activity during the past year. Congress, the White House, and all agencies and organizations concerned with forensic science reliability – reliability that directly affects the U.S. justice system – responded with vigor to the Report’s revelations and recommendations. This activity and concern will be reflected in many of the 700 presentations filling the scientific sessions of the eleven sections of the AAFS. In addition, there will be special sessions reflecting the theme, including a daylong Interdisciplinary Symposium entitled “Putting Our Forensic House in Order: The Best Path Forward?” Symposium participants will include authors of the NAS Report and shapers of the federal government’s response to it.

In addition to presentations dealing with the meeting’s theme, hundreds of talks will be presented on topics such as: computer crime and its detection; car and truck crash investigations; DNA techniques; developing techniques for latent fingerprint visualization; handwriting comparison analysis; building failures; and practically any subject related to forensic work that one could imagine. This partial list shows the breadth of forensic science. Contrary to impressions given by certain television programs, it is not limited to forensic pathologists solving murders, but includes the whole range of human technical, medical, and scientific endeavors and is applied to civil disputes, as well as criminal investigations.

The week will not all be serious or dedicated to grim topics. Sunday, February 21, will see the AAFS cooperating with the University of Washington Botanic Gardens to present a program entitled “Botany, Bugs, and the Art of Forensic Science.” Following the Tuesday evening Welcome Reception, attendees will be entertained with a satirical look at their field by Lynda Williams, cabaret-singer-cum-physics-professor known internationally as “The Physics Chanteuse.”

In addition to addressing the continuing-education needs of its membership, the Academy will conduct a daylong forensic science Student Academy for Seattle-area high school and college students on Tuesday, February 23.

Currently, 123 forensic companies have reserved space in the Exhibition, an increase of 14 percent over the number seeking space at the 2009 Meeting.

For more information on the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, visit www.aafs.org.

COMPLIMENTARY REGISTRATION FOR JOURNALISTS: Individuals able to document a current direct connection with the news media may receive free registrations at the AAFS Registration Desk, as may journalism students by presenting letterhead – stationary certification that they are attending as part of a class activity. Everyone seeking access to any aspect of the Annual Meeting must be registered.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a multi-disciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. The objectives of the Academy are to promote education, foster research, improve the practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences. Organized in 1948, AAFS serves a distinguished and diverse membership of 6,000 forensic science professionals who are the focal point for public information when forensic science issues are addressed in the public domain. AAFS publishes the internationally recognized Journal of Forensic Sciences. For more information, visit www.aafs.org.

SOURCE American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Source: newswire

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