Following the successes of the ENFSI-supported FORSTAT workshops on forensic evidence and evaluation in Krakow in June 2007 and 2009 as well as Edinburgh in June 2008, the fourth workshop will be held in Edinburgh on June 17th and 18th , 2010 at the Pollock Halls of the University of Edinburgh. The intention of the FORSTAT workshop is to train forensic scientists in the statistical evaluation of evidence. During the meetings ideas concerning the application of statistical methods in the forensic field and how the methods work in practice are presented. Little prior statistical knowledge is assumed. The level of the presentations is aimed at those who are forensic experts but may be beginners in statistics.
The meeting in June 2010 will have as its main topic Bayesian networks and probabilistic inference in forensic science.
Forensic scientists are required to qualify and, where possible, quantify their knowledge and to be consultants in the assessment of the uncertainties associated with the inferences that may be drawn from forensic evidence. Probability theory is the fundamental concept that should govern their reasoning. The practical application of probabilistic reasoning in forensic science can be assisted and its rationale be clarified substantially if performed in a graphical environment through the use of a formalism known as Bayesian networks. These networks offer theoretical and practical assistance for the determination of coherent, credible and defensible arguments in reasoning about the value of scientific evidence. The workshop will be based on the book Bayesian networks and probabilistic inference in forensic science (Taroni, Aitken, Garbolino and Biedermann, 2006, John Wiley and Sons Ltd.).
There will be four lecturers: Colin Aitken from the University of Edinburgh, David Lucy from the University of Lancaster, Tereza Neocleous from the University of Glasgow and Grzegorz Zadora from the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow.
The programme will be divided roughly equally between lectures and practical exercises. Participants will be asked to bring a laptop with them on to which they should be able to load specialist software for use with the practical exercises. The software is Windows-based.
Colin Aitken, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Grzegorz Zadora, Institute of Forensic Research, Krakow, Poland