Improving the System
Researchers, academics, and forensic scientists are constantly striving to make improvements to existing processes within the criminal justice system. While many advancements have been made in recent years, there will always be room for growth and change. To begin 2020, Just Science will be meeting with leaders in the field to discuss the current state of the criminal justice system and the advancements they anticipate in the coming years. Listen along as we talk to representative from the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Innocence Project about their efforts to support and improve the criminal justice system.
DNA evidence has had a significant impact on the criminal justice system. Since the National Commission on the Future of DNA evidence in the 1990s, DNA has evolved into one of the most respected and diverse disciplines in forensic science. The DNA season of Just Science focuses on DNA evidence and its use in forensic investigation. Topics include the impact of DNA evidence, the use of familial DNA in investigations, case studies, and strategies to improve workflow efficiencies.
2019 NIJ R&D
The 2019 NIJ R&D Season of Just Science will focus on the research featured at the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium. Some of these interviews were recorded at the 2019 AAFS 71st Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. This conference, held by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is a multidisciplinary professional meeting that provides leadership and opportunities to advance science, foster research, and promote collaboration within the various forensic science disciplines. Some of the episode topics include research with alternative light sources and bruising, infant abuse, age estimations of bloodstains, image cloud platform use, raman microspectroscopy, and much more.
2019 SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a campaign designed to raise awareness about sexual violence and provide methods to prevent it. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Just Science interviewed Pat Speck, a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and professor at the University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Nursing, about sexual assault testing and victim-centered care.
The Identification season of Just Science will focus on many of the different aspects of identification in forensic investigations. A majority of these interviews were recorded at the 2018 International Forensic Educational Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This conference, held by the International Association for Identification, represents a diverse and knowledgeable membership that meets annually to educate and share techniques, methods, and research into the various forensic science disciplines. The conference features lectures, poster presentations, and workshops dedicated to sharing knowledge and enhancing the forensic sciences. This season will include episodes covering sexual assault kit processing, psychological survival in violent careers, latent print examination, forensic art, microanthropology, and more.
The Forensic Advancement season of Just Science will focus on many areas that challenge forensic leadership within the community. A majority of these interviews were recorded at the 2018 American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) Annual Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. The ASCLD Symposium is an industry-leading conference designed for leaders and managers in the forensic laboratory space. The symposium boasts workshops and plenary talks designed around all aspects of forensic science, but particularly focuses on enhancing leadership and management in a forensic laboratory. This season will include episodes covering performance tools, ASCLD efforts in rapid DNA, return on investment for DNA databases, witness testimony, millennial personnel, laboratory public relations, and more.
Special Release – Medicolegal Death Investigation
Just Science’s Medicolegal Death Investigation season will consist of episodes recorded with guests from the IAC&ME board. This season is to promote the ways in which IAC&ME supports, trains, and aids the community of coroners and pathologists. Episodes will include topics like vicarious trauma, work/life balance, wellness, forensic nurses as coroners, and understanding not only the logistical difficulty of a mass shooting but the strain involved on the justice community.
Just So You Know – FTCOE Team
Just Science is releasing a special Just So You Know series in celebration of National Forensic Science Week. Get to know the leadership, scientific, and technical staff that help keep the center running smoothly year round. Guests include Dr. John Morgan, Dr. Jeri Ropero-Miller, Donia Slack, Nicole Jones, Heidi Eldridge, Dr. Megan Grabenauer, Sarah Norsworthy, Nichole Bynum, Katherine Moore, Erica Fornaro, Molly Dix, and Kelle Barrick.
Season Five: 2018 NIJ R&D
Just Science released a special season for 2018 NIJ funded Research and Development. Dive into the community’s efforts to forward science and create a stronger justice system through knowledge. Some of the episode topics include research with skin microbiomes, SNP genotypes, implementing portable mass spec, and CT image databases.
Season Four: Drugs
In this season, Drugs, topics will range from legalization of marijuana in relation to police officers, the opioid epidemic, Electronic Dance Music Festivals, how witnesses’ and victims’ memory of events can be affected by alcohol, current vaping research, drug courts, and much more.
Latest Current Season Episodes
Season Three: 2018 IPTES
In this season we will cover content given at the NIJ Forensic Technology Center of Excellence’s Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium. The symposium was held January 22nd -25th 2018 in Arlington, Virginia, it had over 200 onsite attendees and over 400 online attendees. This season will include episodes discussing nature’s patterns, fracture mechanics, juror’s interpretations of testimony, toolmarks, and footwear with each topic discussing real-world examples. If you missed the symposium and wish to watch the archives, please click here.
Special Release: Leadership
In this special release season on Leadership, you will hear interviews highlighting different areas where guests have excelled, along with some of their lessons learned. The season will highlight forensic professionals and teachers of leadership including Ben Swanholm, Jody Wolf, Martina Bison-Huckaby, and Jeremy Triplett. We will discuss their personal philosophies on leadership, how they came to be leaders in their own lives, and what their affiliations have added to the conversation. Stay tuned as Just Science helps to shed light on the complex issues of leadership.
Season Two: Case Studies
In the second season, Case Studies, Just Science interviews the prosecutors, investigators, victims, and crime lab directors that were involved with high profile cases. This season will highlight cases that seemed unsolvable at the time, but with some new technologies and innovation, these criminals were brought to justice. Topics include Munchausen syndrome by proxy, Human Trafficking, Odontology, Atlanta Olympic Bombing, International cases, Louisiana Serial Killer, and many more.
Special Release: R&D Symposium
Just Science released a special season for NIJ funded Research and Development. Dive into the community’s efforts to forward science and create a stronger justice system through knowledge. Episode topics include research with one-pot meth, bath salts, gunshot acoustics, and postmortem interval estimation.
Season One: Numbers
The first season of “Just Science,” titled Numbers will give listeners content focusing on issues that forensic scientists are faced with, such as error data or proof of data. We will explore new technologies and systems that provide more efficient ways of delivering quantitative results, as well as the human factors that go into producing solid data.