Meeting – the role of databases in forensic science

On Tuesday 15 March, a Section meeting on the role of databases in forensic science was held at the Royal Statistical Society headquarters on Errol Street, London. We had three very interesting talks:

  • Professor Graham Jackson (Visiting Professor of Forensic Science at Abertay University and Consultant Forensic Scientist at Advance Forensic Science) and Mr Adam Baines (Forensic Specialist, Lancashire Constabulary) spoke on  “The use of databases in footwear mark cases”. The slides can be downloaded here: GrahamJacksonAdamBainesSlides,
  • Dr Tina Lovelock (Interpretation Lead, Cellmark Forensic Services) spoke on “Non-DNA databases and collections in forensic science”, and
  • Dr Ian Evett, CBE (Forensic Statistician, Principal Forensic Services) spoke on  “The logical foundations of forensic science: future challenges”. The slides for this talk can be downloaded here: IanEvettSlides. Dr Evett’s paper on this topic (which is in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B on the paradigm shift for forensic science) can be found here: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/370/1674/20140263.

To sign up for notifications of future meetings, you can sign up to the Section mailing list via the “Mailing list” tab.

Second meeting – AGM and legal epidemiology

On Wednesday 21 October, the second meeting of the Section was held at the Royal Statistical Society headquarters in Errol street. At the AGM preceding the meeting it was announced that no further nominations for committee members of the Section had been received, so the provisional committee were duly elected. Following the AGM, three presentations were heard:

Professor Alex Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam ‘An epidemiologist’s experience of giving expert evidence in asbestos litigation’ DownloadSlides

Dr Claire McIvor, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Birmingham ‘A view from legal academia: the doubles the risk test and other basic mistakes that the courts make about epidemiology’

Professor Philip Dawid, Emeritus Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge ‘Legal epidemiology and the significance of the distinction between effects of causes and causes of effects’ DownloadSlides

Seminar on Legal Epidemiology – October 21st

The next meeting of the Statistics and Law section of the Royal Statistical Society will be held on Wednesday October 21st from 2.30 – 4.30 p.m. at Errol Street. It will be preceded by the AGM at 2.00 p.m.

If you are planning to attend please register at events@rss.org.uk

Epidemiological evidence and tort litigation: A study in judicial confusion about basic statistics

2.00 – 2.30 Annual General Meeting

Seminar on Legal Epidemiology

2.30 – 2.35 Welcome and Introduction by seminar chair, Dr Claire McIvor

2.35 – 3.10 ‘An epidemiologist’s experience of giving expert evidence in asbestos litigation’
Professor Alex Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam

3.10 – 3.45 ‘A view from legal academia: the doubles the risk test and other basic mistakes that the courts make about epidemiology’
Dr Claire McIvor, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Birmingham

3.45 – 4.20 ‘Legal epidemiology and the significance of the distinction between effects of causes and causes of effects’
Professor Philip Dawid, Emeritus Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge

4.20 – 4.30 Concluding thoughts

Tea and coffee will be available before the seminar.

Travel Information: The nearest tube stations are Moorgate, Old Street, Liverpool Street and Barbican.

First meeting

The first meeting was held on May 1st at the RSS in Errol Street, London
with talks from

Professor C.G.G. Aitken (University of Edinburgh)  Statistics and the
law – visions for the future. DownloadSlides

Professor G. Jackson (University of Abertay)  Expert evidence
– a personal view of the challenges. DownloadSlides

Professor P. Roberts (University of Nottingham)  Forensic probability –
past, present and possible futures. DownloadSlides