31 March 2022 – Webinar

My 40 Year Career in Forensic Science: Lessons Learned

SPEAKER: Mr Barry Fisher


After 40 years of employment in a public forensic science laboratory plus an added ten plus years in retirement, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works in the forensic science profession for both individuals and institutions. My ideas may benefit both new and experienced practitioners. These are my own thoughts, so feel free to embrace or ignore them.

I’ll be speaking on some of the following topics, in no particular order of importance, and hope to have a spirited Q&A following my lecture:

  • Continuing Education
  • Networking
  • Professional association involvement
  • Publishing
  • ISO 17025 accreditation
  • Professional Certification
  • Turning stakeholders into forensic science champions
  • Lobbying
  • Working with the Media
  • International collaboration – is it time for a Pan-Africa Forensic Science Association?
  • Be prepared for setbacks – they will happen
  • Mentoring younger colleagues
  • Professional ethics
  • Communicating with clients who don’t speak “science”
  • Winning over detractors
  • Cooperation with local and national stakeholders


On LinkedIn

Barry A. J. Fisher served as the Crime Laboratory Director for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a position he held from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. He began his career in criminalistics with the Sheriff’s crime lab in 1969 and worked in a wide variety of assignments. His current interests concern the interrelationship between forensic science and the law along with public policy issues concerning the timely delivery of quality forensic support services to the criminal justice system. More recently, he has been working on ways to improve international collaboration among forensic scientists.

Fisher is a member of many professional organizations. He is a Distinguished Fellow and past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and was awarded the Academy’s highest award, the Gradwohl Medallion. He served as president of the International Association of Forensic Sciences, president of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and was a past chairman of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board.

Fisher has been a member of several editorial boards: the Journal of Forensic Sciences, the Journal of Forensic Identification, Forensic Science Policy and Management, Forensic Science Research and the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. Fisher is an alumni member of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents and a life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was a member of the IACP’s Forensics Committee.

His textbook, Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation, in its 8th edition, enjoys wide popularity. He is a co-author of two other books, Forensics Demystified and Introduction to Criminalistics: The Foundation of Forensic Science. Fisher speaks throughout the United States and has lectured in Canada, England, Australia, Singapore, France, Israel, Japan, China, Turkey, Dubai, Portugal, India and Malaysia on forensic science laboratory practices, quality assurance, and related topics. In 2000, he was invited by the People’s Republic of China to lead a forensic science delegation to lecture to speak with forensic scientists there. In 2012, he was invited again to China to lecture on forensic science developments in the United States. In 2017 he was invited to be a guest plenary speaker at a forensic science conference in Dubai.

Since retiring, Fisher has consulted for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training Program (ICITAP) and Analytic Services Inc., a not-for-profit institute that provides studies and analyses to aid decision-makers in national security, homeland security, and public safety. He also consults on forensic science matters. He is currently a senior forensic science advisor with Park Dietz and Associates, a forensic consulting firm offering expertise in a variety of disciplines in civil and criminal litigation.

Fisher grew up in the Bronx in New York City and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the City College of New York. He holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from Purdue University and an M.B.A. degree from California State University, Northridge.

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