The National Commission on Forensic Science April 10-11, 2017, Meeting


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Source:  Betty Layne DesPortes, JD, MS, AAFS President

As the National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) sunsets, AAFS members who serve as NCFS members, invited presenters, and interested attendees met in Washington, DC, on April 10-11, 2017. Board of Director Representative C. Ken Williams and Past President Carol Henderson were among the invited presenters at the meeting.

Board of Directors Criminalistics section representative C. Ken Williams spoke on behalf of the Academy at the invitation of President Betty Layne DesPortes to address the importance of the NCFS work for forensic science practitioners. Ken pointed out the importance of the NCFS as a “forensic science sandbox” where all interested stakeholders and the broader scientific community can come together. In addition to commending the many Academy members on the NCFS and its subcommittees, he provided insight into the concerns and challenges of the composition and limitations of the NCFS. He discussed the work of Academy and its leadership role in the forensic science community, but noted the limitations of a professional organization, both in funding and in enforcing standards on a national scale. Ken highlighted the need for a national organization such as the NCFS to influence legislative policy and to implement national standards to strengthen forensic science. Consistent with the policy statement recently issued by the AAFS Board of Directors, he stressed that the Academy remains committed to working with any agencies, entities, or groups to improve both forensic science and the access to forensic science services.

Carol Henderson spoke as the Director of the National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law at Stetson University College of Law to address training and continuing education issues in forensic science. She emphasized the need for readily accessible resources that encompass a wide variety of topics and that are constantly updated.

The Academy has been well represented by members who serve on the NCFS and members who have been invited to present at the 13 meetings of the NCFS over the past three years. We thank them all for their hard work and effort in strengthening forensic science.

AAFS members who served on the NCFS:

Vice-Chair:  John M. Butler, PhD

Commission Staff:  Danielle M. Weiss, JD

Commission Members:  Suzanne Bell, PhD; Frederick R. Bieber, PhD; Cecelia A. Crouse, PhD; Gregory P. Czarnopys, BS; Jules Epstein, JD; John Fudenberg, MBA; Dean M. Gialamas, MS; Paul C. Giannelli, JD; Randy L. Hanzlick, MD; Ted R. Hunt, JD; Linda C. Jackson, MS; Pamela A.W. King, JD; Marc A. LeBeau, PhD; Peter Neufeld, JD; Phil T. Pulaski, JD; and Michael J. Salyards, PhD

Ex-Officio Members:  Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD; Gerald M. LaPorte, MSFS; and Patricia A. Manzolillo, MSFS

Former Commission Member:  Vincent J.M. Di Maio, MD

Numerous AAFS members served on NCFS subcommittees and made presentations at meetings. We also thank them for their contributions to our forensic science community.

Left to Right: Patricia Manzolillo, Linda Jackson, Ken Williams, John Butler, Suzanne Bell, Charlotte Word, Gerald LaPorte, Carol Henderson, Jeremy Triplett, Dean Gialamas, Kevin Lothridge, Cecelia Crouse, Pam King, Mark Stolorow, Ted Hunt, and Gregory Czarnopys

Left to Right: Patricia Manzolillo, Linda Jackson, Ken Williams, John Butler, Suzanne Bell, Charlotte Word, Gerald LaPorte, Carol Henderson, Jeremy Triplett, Dean Gialamas, Kevin Lothridge, Cecelia Crouse, Pam King, Mark Stolorow, Ted Hunt, and Gregory Czarnopys