24 November 2022 – Webinar
Forensic science in an ever-changing world and why we need to go back to basics

SPEAKER: Prof Claude Roux, Centre for Forensic Science, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia & President of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS)    


We live in a rapidly ever-changing world where technology not only takes an increasingly important part in our lives but also drives societal changes. These changes have an impact on the criminal and security landscape itself. They also provide new ways to abate and even prevent crime. For example, the digital transformation of society facilitates the traceability of people and behaviours. Further, technology, including field-portable instrumentation, enables quicker, remote and more connected exploitation of traces that take more diverse shapes and forms than ever.

This situation offers vast opportunities but also presents significant challenges, including data management and potential ethical issues. Further, today, there is an increased demand for formalised quality assurance and reliability from forensic science services. However, there is also an increased demand for forensic science’s more proactive role in the investigation, intelligence and contribution to non-judicial pathways (e.g. harm minimisation and prevention).

This situation is challenging forensic science’s role and its traditional laboratory. It forces us to re-think the purpose of forensic science and better develop its fundamental underpinnings. These interrogations and this debate are crucial for forensic science practitioners and stakeholders. How can we be effective in our everyday work if we do not have a clear view of the purpose of what we are doing and if we poorly understand where we come from and where we are heading to?

In this context, this presentation will provide an overview and update of the Sydney Declaration [1], including the current feedback from the worldwide forensic science community. It is argued that the principles proposed in the Sydney Declaration should underpin the practice of forensic science and guide education and research directions by providing a solid foundation and improved shared understanding between all practitioners and stakeholders.

  1. Roux, C., Bucht, R., Crispino, F., De Forest, P., Lennard, C., Margot, P., Miranda M. D., NicDaeid, N., Ribaux, O., Ross, A., Willis, S. (2022). The Sydney Declaration – Revisiting the Essence of Forensic Science through its Fundamental Principles, Forensic Science International 332, 111182, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2022.111182.


Please see the following link for a bio of Prof Claude Roux: https://profiles.uts.edu.au/Claude.Roux

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