Presidential Spotlight—May 2022

Source: Laura Fulginiti, PhD, 2022-23 AAFS President

The months are speeding by, and it is time again to start thinking about the annual conference. We will celebrate our 75th Anniversary next February! I am working with the Board of Directors and the Membership Outreach Ad Hoc Committee to make this an exciting meeting filled with celebratory moments. We are planning an all in-person meeting, and we look forward to seeing a lot of you there!

Abstract Submission Portal Opens June 1

When I was an AAFS Student Affiliate, the last week of July was the busiest month of the year. I know most of you can guess why. Abstracts for AAFS are due August 1, and we were always in a last-minute panic to get our research submitted. In the “old” days, it was much easier than it is now because we could say what we “wanted to test” instead of actually including results in the abstract. That bought us five-and-a-half months to conduct the research we said we were going to present. Today, presenters must include their results in the abstract, necessitating much better organizational skills and year-round research. I am looking forward to a strong scientific program this year in honor of our anniversary and our theme “Science Works.” I hope all of you will consider those themes in your presentations.

I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone about our new status, Professional Affiliate. I’ve heard some feedback that indicates there is still confusion regarding these individuals.

Professional Affiliate Status:

  • These individuals will NOT be assigned to a section
  • These individuals do not fit into current criteria for membership
    1. Student or Trainee Affiliates who are no longer in their program but who do not have the necessary requisites to promote to Associate Member
    2. Individuals who work in arenas not currently represented by an Academy section
    3. Individuals who work in supporting forensic science roles
    4. International forensic scientists whose credentials are not recognized in the United States
  • Professional Affiliates will not vote in Academy business, hold office, or serve on Academy or section committees
  • They will have reduced meeting registration fees and reduced dues (lower than non-member and higher than member)

The inclusion of these individuals will energize the membership, bringing new ideas and energy to the organization. They will follow a rigorous application process that will allow the Academy to maintain our high standards and status as the premier forensic science organization in the world. We have so much to offer to the global community, but they, in turn, have so much to offer us. We will all benefit from this new status, and I hope you will all welcome the infusion of diverse ideas and people that we anticipate.

As we move into serious meeting planning, I am looking forward to seeing strong abstract submission rates way before the August 1 deadline. Thank you all, and see you in February!

Below you will find a link to a video I recorded regarding agenda plans for the coming year and ideas for moving forward.

President’s Video Address


Thank you all, and see you in February!