Criminalistics Section News – 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:  Karolyn L. Tontarski, MS, Section Secretary

It’s fall when everyone’s thoughts should be turning to…making sure their plans are coming together to attend the AAFS 68th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas (February 22-27, 2016)! With the Transformation:  Embracing Change meeting theme, you can be certain the meeting will be energizing and thought-provoking.

As usual, the Criminalistics Section Program Committee has been hard at work ensuring a high-quality program is in place that will keep you engaged throughout the scientific sessions held Thursday through Saturday. By this point in time, the session papers have been selected and the finishing touches are being put on the abstracts.

Also by now, the panel of experts for the Town Hall Meeting on DNA Mixtures Special Session has received submitted questions (from you, the studio audience) and will work to incorporate those into their focused session on DNA mixture interpretation and statistical evaluation. Keep your eyes peeled for the online release of the Advance Program before Thanksgiving so you can learn about the scheduled papers, including the “selected abstracts” and additional “special sessions.” As you’ll recall, these new features in the Criminalistics Section program are designed to spotlight promising research developments and to encourage interactive discussions around hot topic issues. This approach will require active participation during the sessions — so adjust your meeting mindset now. Simply sitting in your chair and soaking up knowledge as you listen to papers will work in some sessions, but not in these new additions to the program!

Given the meeting theme, you can be assured that discussions regarding the first work products of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSACs) will take place and updates will be provided from the time the workshops begin on Monday until the last paper is presented on Saturday. Further, attendees can expect to hear about the progress surrounding the Academy’s efforts to develop a Standards Development Organization (SDO). Development of an SDO fits in perfectly with President Weedn’s meeting theme since the process has been described as strategic for AAFS’s future and as potentially transformative.

So now you need to ask yourself, what kind of 2016 annual meeting attendee will you be? Will you be able to plan far in advance? Will you be required to wait for approval from your place of employment? Will you be a procrastinator? Will you be a fence-straddler waiting to find out what your colleagues are planning to do? Regardless, we have you covered! For the hard-chargers and plan-ahead folks, you’ll be pleased to know that meeting registration will open around mid-month. For those who must wait or those expert at deferring decisions, you’ll be heartened to know the meeting pre-registration deadline is January 27, 2016.

Lastly, please start thinking green now. Many of the previously printed materials that are distributed at the meeting will be available in electronic format as well, to include workshop handouts and the 2016 Proceedings. Once you have registered for the annual meeting, look for email communication alerts that materials are available. Here’s hoping this gets you excited about beginning to plan to attend the 2016 annual meeting in Las Vegas, if you hadn’t already begun to do so. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in February.