Forensics: Evidence, Ethics & Evaluation

Available to watch on-demand now

This collection looks at crime, from how to solve a criminal investigation with evidence to how we treat offenders with mental health problems, and gives us intriguing insights into the myths and reality of forensic science.

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DatesAvailable to watch on-demand now
Talks structure30 minute lecture20 minute Q&A
LocationOnline

4 talks in this Garden Series

Ep

01

Society & Politics
Technology
Is it ethical to use biometrics to catch criminals?

Fingerprints are getting rarer - everyone's seen the TV shows. What new tools can we bring in to confirm a criminal's identity, and is it ethical to use them? Read more

Dr. Richard Guest

University of Kent

Richard Guest is a professor of Biometric Systems Engineering, and the Head of the School of Engineering, at the University of Kent. He has an internationally recognised and sustained research record in applied artificial intelligence, biometric systems, security, image processing and feature pattern recognition.

Guest is also an appointed member of the UK Home Office's Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group, as well as the education and training lead for the European Association for Biometrics. He has acted as editor for seven international standards, widely adopted across the biometrics industry.

Professor Guest has led numerous international research projects including the EU-funded AMBER network on mobile biometric technologies. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

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Ep

02

Society & Politics
Psychology & Behaviour
How do we handle mentally ill offenders?

It's not always clear what drives a criminal to act the way they do. How does the justice system deal with offenders whose behaviour is rooted in mental illness? Read more

Dr Sohom Das

NHS

Dr Sohom Das is a consultant forensic psychiatrist based in London. He is also the host of a YouTube channel called A Psych for Sore Minds, which covers topics related to true crime, mental illness and the crossover between the two.

In his professional role, he regularly assesses mentally disordered offenders — in prison, in court, and in locked, secure forensic psychiatric units. His subjects typically assault, rob, stab, set fires and rape. Some kill. They suffer a range of mental illnesses from schizophrenia, to bipolar affective disorder to anti-social personality disorder. Their crimes are often driven by paranoia, delusions of grandeur and hearing voices.

Dr Das has made miscellaneous media appearances; from television to radio, and works as an expert witness for numerous criminal courts in London. He is currently writing his debut book about his most fascinating cases, due to be published in Spring 2022.

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Ep

03

Society & Politics
Science & Nature
How can investigators identify a criminal when they don't leave DNA?

DNA is the go-to forensic evidence in many criminal cases. What other trace evidence can be used to identify the perpetrator when they don't leave DNA behind? Read more

Dr. Candice Bridge

Dr. Candice Bridge is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF) where she holds a position in the Department of Chemistry and at the National Center for Forensic Science.

She also owns her own consulting company in Florida called Forensic Science Research & Consulting, LLC. She studied chemistry at Howard University and received an ACS certified B.S. degree in 2004. In 2007, she completed her doctoral research in analytical chemistry focusing on forensic sciences from the UCF. In 2008, she conducted her post-doctoral research at the Center for Research and Education of Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the UCF. Afterwards, she was hired as a Chemistry Lecturer at Howard University and then in 2009 she moved to the Defense Forensic Science Center (formerly the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Laboratory) where she was a Trace Evidence Examiner.

Then in 2011 she accepted a position in the DFSC’s Office of the Chief Scientist where for 3 years she was a project manager for R&D projects, the Humans Protections Administrator for human research projects within the Office of the Provost Marshall General, and the Educational Outreach Director for the Defense Forensics & Biometrics Agency prior to moving to UCF.

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Ep

04

Society & Politics
How do you separate fact from fantasy in a cold case?

Cold case reviews often have to battle misinformation and conspiracy theories, as well as missing pieces. How do investigators see through the chaos to a solution? Read more

Professor Jim Fraser

University of Strathclyde

Jim Fraser is Research Professor in Forensic Science at the University of Strathclyde, a Commissioner of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and a Past President of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

He has over forty years’ experience in forensic science and has worked on many high-profile cases including the deaths of Rachel Nickell, Damilola Taylor and Gareth Williams, the GCHQ code breaker. He has extensive experience as an expert witness in criminal courts in the UK and has advised many public agencies including police organisations in the UK and abroad, the Home Office, the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.

Jim has published a number of books including “Murder Under the Microscope: Serial Killers, Cold Cases and Life as a Forensic Investigator” (Atlantic Books 2020) and Forensic Science - a very short introduction (OUP 2020).

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