Psychiatry & Behavioral Science March 2015 News Update

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Source: Dean De Crisce, MD, Section Secretary

The Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Section met at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting in Orlando, FL, on February 18. Our own Section member, Daniel Martell presided as President of AAFS during this last year and chose the theme Celebrating the Forensic Science Family for this year’s meeting. In addition to our regular session, our members were active in the overall program; some of our members chaired or gave special presentations in various sessions of the general program. All sessions were well received.

President Dan Martell welcomes first-time meeting attendee Melissa Johnson and meeting volunteer David Millard.

President Dan Martell welcomes first-time meeting attendee Melissa Johnson and meeting volunteer David Millard.

President Dan Martell receives a gift from the Board in thanks for his years of service to the Academy.

President Dan Martell receives a gift from the Board in thanks for his years of service to the Academy.

Beginning the conference on Monday morning, Alan Felthous served as chair with presenters from around the country for a half-day workshop, “The Electrophysiology of Impulsive Aggression and Criminal Responsibility.” On Tuesday, Klaus Neudecker, chaired a second workshop, “Sadism: Distinguishing Between Criminal Behavior and Offender Analysis.”

AAFS President Daniel Martell, participated in the half-day workshop on Tuesday, “Cognitive Bias Issues in the Forensic Analysis of Pattern and Impression Evidence and in Medicolegal Evaluations” and also chaired the outstanding Plenary Session, “Human Factors in Forensic Science: Why Cognitive Bias Can Lead to Flawed Expert Opinions and Testimony, How Its Influence Can Be Minimized, and What Challenges Testifying Experts and Judges Can Expect to Face” with a panel of esteemed speakers. Christopher Thompson, led a team from our section to particiapte in the fun Academy Cup competition during the Pre-Plenary Session.

In keeping with President Martell’s theme for the meeting, Richard Rosner, AAFS Past President, participated in an Interdisciplinary Symposium “Past Presidents Future Science: Hot Leads in Contemporary Forensic Research.”

Karen Rosenbaum, our Section Secretary, chaired the Academy-wide Breakfast Sessions. Tuesday morning, Gregg Dwyer, our section Program Co-Chair, presented on “Mental Health Support to Law Enforcement: Practical Issues” along with Eric Skidmore and Andy Gruler. On Thursday morning, Annarita Franza and Vincenzo Lusa, presented a Breakfast Seminar on “The Roso Case: An Unpublished Trial Regarding Hermaphroditism Verified Through the Expertise and Written Advice of Leading Physicians in 19th-Century Florence.” On Thrusday, Michael Welner presented with Ann Wolbert Burgess during the Luncheon Seminar, “Fetal Kidnapping by Cesarean Section.” He also presented in the Multidisciplinary Session for the Psychiatry & Behavioral Science and Toxicology Sections.

Our section’s formal program began with poster sessions on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Oral presentations began with a multidisciplinary session with Toxicology on Thursday morning, followed by sections dedicated to topics such as aggression, sexual behaviors, crime, child and adolescent issues, white collar crime, and murder and suicide. Stephen Billick, AAFS Past Vice President and section Fellow, presented Friday morning along with Emily Friedman on “Unintentional Child Neglect: Literature Review and Observational Study.”

In our section’s business news, John Young finished his term of Fellow-At-Large on the Board of Directors; we wish to express our gratitude to him for many years of service to our section. Christopher Thompson was elected as Fellow-At-Large, Karen Rosenbaum was elected Section Chair, and Dean De Crisce was elected as Section Secretary. The Program Chair and Program Chair-Chair for 2015-16 is Gregg Dwyer and Varendra Gosein, respectively.

The Richard Rosner Best Paper Award was presented to Samuel Shapiro for his paper on “Graphic Depictions: Portrayals of Mental Illness in Video Games” with Merrill Rotter. Congratulations to Dr. Shapiro.

In other news, Karen Rosenbaum achieved her boarding in addiction medicine offered by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Congratulations, Dr. Rosenbaum. Richard Rosner is presently working on a new edition of his acclaimed Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry, a gold-standard text for forensic psychiatry.

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Adolescent Psychiatry (a society in which many section members belong) in conjunction with the International Society of Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology was held in New York City, March 26-29. Numerous section members attended and presented.

The 2015 American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law annual Meeting will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, this October.

We welcome the submission of news items for this column from members. Please submit these items to Dean De Crisce, Section Secretary at