Forensic Connections Worldwide

Chances are if you know forensics, you know Dr. Zeno's Forensic Science Site.


He mentions autopsies, done virtually in part with the help of MRI and CT scans, as a possible trend.

"Digital evidence also is an important part of forensic science, since digital traces are anywhere: on computers, phones and many more devices and cards that people use," he says.

The combination of evidence is also getting more important, he adds, since more and more questions are being asked with DNA alone. "DNA is as important as evidence. However, if more questions are asked as to how the contact traces are caused, it is important to have other evidence," he says.

Geradts speculates forensic science will be up against more difficult times in court, since more people have knowledge of forensic methods.

"It is good people remain critical to any evidence, since it is known that forensic scientists also can become biased in the interpretation of the results due to information they receive during their investigation," he says.

For this reason, he says it might help to use the Bayesian approach, which looks at probability. However, he says reporting in the Bayesian approach with an alternative hypothesis will lead to more difficult-to-read reports, and the judge and jury have to understand these.

The Bayesian approach lends itself to much discussion. Dr. Zeno's Forensic Science Site links to "The Bayesian Evidence Page" (www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~vignaux/evidenceindex.html), which not only talks about publications and other links, but a forum for those interested in the application of Bayesian methods in the presentation and analysis of evidence in court.

Truly, one connection leads to another. Whether you are looking for a helpful Web site or a helpful person, Dr. Zeno's Forensic Science Site makes connections.

Rebecca Kanable is a freelance writer specializing in law enforcement topics. She lives in Wisconsin and can be reached at kanable@charter.net.

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