A Word From Your 2016 Program Co-Chair – November 2015

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.


Source:  Julie A. Howe, MBA, 2016 Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair

President Weedn’s theme of Transformation:  Embracing Change could not be more fitting as the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for forensic science efforts progress and the AAFS is making huge strides to become an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO), offering products that will become American National Standards (ANS). These initiatives, along with others, heighten the forensic sciences to a historic level. While there are bound to be differences of opinions, those who don’t recognize that change is coming are going to be far behind.

The 2016 program is finalized and promises to offer engaging speakers who are reflective of the current forensic activities being conducted. There will be representation from a variety of stakeholders offering all the ability to expand their forensic knowledge and to acquire a better understanding of evolving techniques and the challenges facing practitioners. In addition, the annual meeting will provide an opportunity to network with peers and discuss puzzling cases. These conversations enrich our thought processes and initiate further concepts for exploration.

Kudos to the special session chairs who have worked hard to offer sessions that are current, engaging, and informative. The Plenary and Interdisciplinary Sessions will offer a variety of prominent speakers who will present unique perspectives on current initiatives involving standards, accreditation, and certification as well as innovative, evolving technologies that allow the forensic sciences to advance.

The AAFS staff received 1,298 abstracts for review before forwarding eligible submissions to the various program committees and program chairs for approval and scheduling. After careful consideration, the final program will offer 914 presentations, including workshops, special sessions, and poster and oral presentations. Authors will receive letters of acceptance or rejection from the AAFS by mid-November. The quality of the program is dependent upon the efforts of the membership. I would like to applaud the Academy members for their interest and dedication in advancing the knowledge and education of peers by participating in the program. The strength of the program is dependent upon such commitment and participation.

The upcoming months are busy for the AAFS staff as they finalize program details. The staff does an outstanding job coordinating all aspects of the meeting to ensure that it runs smoothly. Take the time to thank them for their hard work. They work tirelessly to ensure that the membership has a successful program with many enrichment activities. Let them know that we appreciate all that they do!

There are still impending deadlines that require attention. Don’t forget that workshop handouts must be submitted, pre-registration forms completed and submitted, hotel reservations made, and membership dues paid. As always, deadlines are firm.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas where we know you will enjoy another successful annual meeting. Program Chair Andy Baker and I welcome your comments or questions. Please feel free to contact us at andrew.baker@hennepin.us or howej@slu.edu.