There have been four FORSTAT workshops, supported by ENFSI. Following the successes of these workshops on forensic evidence and evaluation, held alternately between Krakow (2007, 2009) and Edinburgh (2008, 2010, www.ies.krakow.pl/conferences/forstat2010), the next workshop will be held in Krakow on June 16th and 17th, 2011.
The aim of the FORSTAT programme 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. It is not expected that participants will have much prior statistical knowledge. The level of the presentations will be aimed at those who are forensic experts but may be beginners in statistics.
The topic for the meeting in June 2011 will be variation. The ability to understand variation is the key to statistical thinking. The role of variation in the evaluation and interpretation of evidence will be explained. Advance reading will be made available in order that the workshop itself will be as fruitful as possible.
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.
There will be three lecturers: Colin Aitken from the University of Edinburgh, David Lucy from the University of Lancaster and Grzegorz Zadora from the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow.
We are planning a three-year cycle of topics for the FORSTAT workshops. In 2012 the workshop in Edinburgh will cover ideas relating to multivariate data and in 2013 the workshop in Krakow will cover ideas relating to Bayesian networks. In 2014, the workshop in Edinburgh will cover variation again. In this way, those who find it difficult to travel to one location or the other will be helped.Colin Aitken, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Grzegorz Zadora, Institute of Forensic Research, Krakow, Poland