Thursday, May 15, 2008

Now you can't even believe in CSI anymore.

Next, no more Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Reforming Forensics:
"Controlled studies have shown that the bias forensic experts absorb even by such seemingly innocuous interactions as speaking with police and prosecutors before running tests can have a disturbingly significant impact on their results. This bias exists even in well-intentioned, professional scientists...

Unfortunately, too many people think all of the country's forensic labs work like the ones they see on CSI. I'm not sure it's enough to merely ask that judges take a more aggressive approach to weeding out the frauds. First, judges can be duped, too. Second, even competent, professional forensic scientists can make mistakes. The changes need to be more radical. Another of Koppl's suggested reforms essentially applies the idea of peer review to the criminal forensics process. That would go a long way toward cutting down on mistakes, intentional and otherwise."

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