Criminalistics Section News – Ready, Set, …

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.

Program Chair Patrick Buzzini and Co-Chair Noelle Umback are eager to begin reviewing the plethora of abstracts submitted for the upcoming 2018 AAFS annual meeting in Seattle, WA. They have lined up 30 reviewers in various areas of criminalistics who will dedicate their time and expertise to help select the best abstracts. If you are planning on submitting an abstract, please consider the following suggestions designed to maximize the chances of your abstract being accepted: (1) make sure your research has been completed by the abstract deadline date; (2) please use clear and concise language; and, (3) be sure to fully disclose any health care-related products and services by speakers employed by the same entity as well as the discussion of all pharmaceutical products. Please also be keenly aware that the deadline to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations is only days away – August 1. Additional instructions and details about the submission process can be found on the AAFS website.

While submitting your abstract, please also consider whether your topic may be suitable for a workshop, the Last Word Society, or the Criminalistics Believe It or Not sessions. These are additional avenues that you can pursue to ensure a greater probability of having an abstract accepted for the program.

During the review process, you may be asked to change the venue format of your presentation from oral to poster or vice versa. If this is the case, you will be notified via email and asked to respond with your approval as soon as possible. It is requested that you pay attention to these notifications and promptly respond. The Criminalistics Program Committee will be operating under very short, strict deadlines. A prompt response will not only help the committee, it will help your case when it comes to making a final decision between acceptance and rejection. It is also recommended that you make sure all emails associated with your submission are up to date in both the submission paperwork and on the AAFS portal. If the committee cannot reach you, your abstract may be rejected.

The Criminalistics Program Committee is in the process of organizing a multidisciplinary session and would like to share a preview. In collaboration with the General, the Pathology/Biology, and the Toxicology sections, they are coordinating a panel session dedicated to the discussion of an increasingly relevant issue: the epidemic of synthetic opioids currently hitting our streets. Various invited speakers from across these disciplines will share their experiences and unique perspectives with respect to this significant issue.

Much gratitude is due to all of the members who responded to Noelle Umback’s request to serve as moderators. As is always the case, there were more volunteers than available positions, proving that our section’s members continue to be among the most highly motivated. The moderator slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis and will favor members who are actively seeking a promotion to Fellow.

Science Matters, AAFS President Betty Layne DesPortes theme for the upcoming meeting, invites all of us to excel in properly communicating to anyone the impact of our daily work to society as a whole. Although our scientific discipline is scrutinized on a regular basis, we must remind ourselves that scientific evidence constitutes the most powerful type of evidence available in the legal arena. Science matters in all facets of forensic science: casework, research, and instruction (both training and education), and we hope to see all these aspects addressed during our abstract review. So, yes, science matters, and every member is strongly encouraged to share their thoughts with anyone not familiar with forensic science and its numerous contributions.