ABOUT SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY publishes articles, news reports and commentary about the use of scientific evidence in legal proceedings. It also offers an archive of information useful to lawyers, forensic scientists and expert witnesses.
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY is edited and published by faculty and students of the Department of Criminology, Law & Society, University of California, Irvine. The editor is William C. Thompson. The webmaster is Christopher Pallone.
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY is a cumulative, growing enterprise. We plan to add new articles continually. Readers who would like to be notified periodically (about monthly) of what's new at this site may add their e-mail addresses to our mail list. Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY welcomes contributions from anyone. Submissions will be evaluated by the editor with the assistance of an editorial review board and, in some instances, by peer-reviewers. Because we are committed to full and vigorous discussion of issues, ST will always provide space for anyone who is criticized herein to respond. We believe that truth best emerges through open debate.
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY is designed to be a cumulative enterprise that will grow and evolve over time. Authors are welcome to revise, update or withdraw contributions.
SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY will publish contributions of the following types:
Introductory discussions of scientific or technical topics designed to help readers get up-to-speed quickly on a scientific issue.
Analysis and discussion of the expert evidence in specific cases; review and critique of expert reports, declarations, testimony.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Brief reports on current events related to scientific testimony.
Brief discussions of topical issues. This section of ST will be an open forum in which all points of view can be expressed. Any comment that is on-point and that is expressed in suitable language will be published. Comments may be made anonymously. The editors will periodically raise "points of discussion" (i.e., issues or topics on which comment and reaction is requested).
Contributions may include reports of scientific findings, literature reviews, methods articles, comment and discussion articles. Peer-review is available for contributions to this section. Articles that have been peer-reviewed will be designated as such.
Discussion of legal issues surrounding scientific evidence; may range from brief case notes and comments to longer articles in the style of traditional law reviews. Legal tutorials designed to help non-lawyers will also be published.
Transcripts, expert reports, laboratory protocols, proficiency test results, government documents, data bases and other materials related to scientific testimony will be included. Authors are welcome to place supporting documents in the archive and to link those documents with their articles. Forensic laboratories are welcome to place in the archive materials frequently requested during discovery proceedings to save the time and expense of complying with multiple, redundant discovery requests.
Contributions may be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to the following address:
William C. Thompson, Editor
Department of Criminology, Law & Society
University of California
Irvine, Calif. 92697-7080
Contributions should be in HTML format (*.htm, *.html), Microsoft Word format (*.doc), or ascii format (*.txt), in that order of preference. Images embedded in articles should be in GIF (*.gif) or JPEG [preferred](*.jpg, *.jpeg) formats. Images submitted separately may also be in TIFF (*.tif, *.tiff) format.
The editor is particularly interested in contributions on the following topics:
The foundation (or lack thereof) for expert testimony; incentives and pressures for partisan presentations; proper and improper testimony; good and bad cross-examination; harassment of expert witnesses; compensation of expert witnesses; court funding of expert witnesses.
Strengths and limitations of laboratory methods; the adequacy of validation; laboratory accreditation; certification of experts; proficiency testing; scientific misconduct; the "culture" of the field; institutional pressures on laboratory personnel.
Frequency estimation; error-rate estimation; use and misuse of Bayesian methods; fallacies (e.g., the Prosecutor's Fallacy and Defense Attorney's Fallacy); examples of proper and improper testimony.
LEGAL ISSUES SURROUNDING SCIENTIFIC TESTIMONY
Standards for admissibility; use and abuse of discovery procedures; confidentiality of test results; protective orders; privileges; expert qualifications.
SCIENCE AND THE JURY
Jury comprehension; jury reaction to expert testimony; illustrative evidence; decision aids; jury simulation studies; post trial interviews.
This journal is founded on the belief that the quality of scientific testimony in Anglo-American courts can be improved through critical scrutiny and discussion. Many problems exist and persist at present because they are not identified and brought to light. Testimony by forensic scientists in particular is sometimes problematic because inadequate mechanisms exist for external evaluation and review. The institutional structure of forensic science and the adversarial nature of the legal system provide incentives for secrecy, partisanship, and goal-directed behavior that is inconsistent with the highest scientific ideals. Lawyers often are ill-prepared to challenge misleading scientific assertions. By casting light on these issues, this journal may, in some small measure, help address these problems.
Please give us your feedback on Scientific Testimony.
Comments about the appearance of the web site, broken links, and other technical matters should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments for the editor should be directed to email@example.com.
There will be a feedback form implemented shortly, please check back periodically.
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