FOS: Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge

This is a Programe  funded by the Isaac Newton Institute forMathematical Science Cambridge University. The programme will run at the Institute from 18 July - 21 December 2016 and will host leading researchers from around the world who specialise in applying probability and statistics to forensic evidence and legal arguments. The lead researchers and organisers are:
Programme Theme
While there have been dramatic advances in the range and scale of forensic techniques used to help solve legal cases, the way that the probative value of forensic evidence is presented in courts is rudimentary and often flawed. In particular, where probative value is presented in probabilistic and statistical terms there have been numerous instances of misunderstanding leading to miscarriages of justice. Yet there are emerging Bayesian-based probabilistic frameworks - for evaluating forensic evidence and combining it with other types of evidence – that have the potential to improve dramatically many aspects of the criminal justice system.
The programme will develop the main research topics in this area, such as the use of Bayesian networks for combining and evaluating multiple types of evidence, and statistical methods for DNA analysis, particularly in the difficult situations that arise in actual cases of forensic detection: mixed, low template or degraded DNA samples or rare Y-haplotypes. We will also examine the role statistical databases play in other types of trace evidence such as fibre analysis, soil analysis, and drug traces on banknotes.

More on Programme theme.

The full research proposal  is here.

Researchers interested in participating should contact Leila Schneps or  Norman Fenton.