Preview of Criminalistics Sessions in Baltimore, MD

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Source: Kristy Kadash, PhD, Section Chair

The 2019 AAFS Annual Meeting is just around the corner. To whet your appetite, here is a preview of the sessions and activities being offered by the Criminalistics Section. There are a variety of Breakfast Seminars and Workshops from which to choose, covering topics ranging from psychoactive substances to statistics for friction ridge impressions to admissibility hearings. These options make it well worthwhile to come to the meeting early.

The Academy Cup is a great trivia game that pits the AAFS Sections against one another in a battle of knowledge. Criminalistics hoisted the trophy in 2018 and is looking to repeat that this year. Come cheer your Section during this Wednesday morning event. The devoted Criminalistics Members and Fellows will be sure to attend the Business Meeting on Wednesday afternoon. This meeting provides reports and updates from all of the Criminalistics committees as well as the presentation of well-deserved awards. Some important changes to the Membership requirements will be voted on, so attendance is highly encouraged.

The Scientific Sessions begin with posters on Wednesday and continue through Saturday morning. This year, there are four multidisciplinary sessions on Thursday and Friday that should draw big audiences. Don’t miss these joint sessions with Engineering, General, and Jurisprudence on rape kit processing, fire science, legal discourse, and forensic education. The Criminalistics I Sessions are focused on DNA-related issues, including the perennial favorites of statistics, next generation sequencing, and low copy techniques. The Criminalistics II Sessions will cover the science of pattern recognition, developments in firearms and explosives examination, and advances in trace analysis and drug chemistry. The Criminalistics program is so jam-packed that there are two Saturday sessions again this year. Presentations on this day will consist of the use of DNA databases, laboratory quality assurance topics, new crime scene techniques, international forensic efforts, and the impact of human factors on evidence analysis and interpretation.

For the sixth year, there will be a Friday evening session held by the Section. “Believe It Or Not” will offer fascinating speakers discussing novel applications of science to case investigation as well as some crazy crime scene stories. Snacks and beverages will be available.

In addition to these events, the Academy meeting is a terrific place to meet and mingle with others in the forensic community. Who knows what ground-breaking collaborations could emerge? So, there are countless reasons to come early and stay late at this year’s meeting. Hope you agree.

Don’t forget that pre-registration ends on January 23, 2019!