THEMES AND TRACKS

Themes

The program will comprise of a number of themes that are intended to provide an overall direction of the conference and are to challenge and inspire.

Digital Transformation of the Forensic Process

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New digitalized products and services are entering our society in many ways as new technologies and innovations become available at an increasing rate. The digital transformation, however, is not only about technology; it also involves people, workflow, judicial and ethical considerations etc. How do we take advantage of the potential of this transformation from a forensic perspective? How do we adjust our processes and workflows? What would a digital chain of custody look like? 

Forensic Data Science

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Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that combine the use of mathematical methods, data, and expert knowledge. It is a fundamental part of Forensic Science as a tool for evaluation of evidence. The increased capabilities to capture, store, share and process data, propelled by the development of artificial intelligence, AI, and Big Data, are enabling Forensic Scientists to solve complex problems. What are the future opportunities in Forensic Data Science? How do we share data and knowledge in order to benefit from these opportunities? 

Forensic Human Factor

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A fundamental part of Forensic Science is the evidence-based approached to treatment and evaluation of evidence. 

From recovery processes, hypotheses generation, context information management, calibration of the human-based interpretation to the presentation of results in a scientifically correct, understandable, and unbiased way – human factors remain essential! 

Forensic Social Responsibility

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Forensic Science has an important role in the Judicial Systems. Our environment and our capabilities are effected not only by technological advancements and laws, but also ethics and societal perceptions. Balancing concepts such as personal integrity and technical capabilities will always remain important. 

Forensic Technology Innovation

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Forensic Science span across a broad range of areas, each with constant development of new technologies and solutions. Many of these achievements have the potential to become valuable tools in the hands of forensic scientists. How do we work actively with innovation to make sure that new technologies are made available in forensic science? What are the areas with the largest potential impact? How can we ensure an efficient innovation uptake? 

Tracks

The sub-tracks provide additional guidance regarding the topics of each track. The tracks and sub-tracks are as follows:

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Chemistry

Chair: Professor Arian van Asten                                   Co-chair: Associate Professor Simon Dunne
MFS / CLHC, Univ. of Amsterdam, The Netherlands         NFC, Sweden 

Routed in a single science domain the actual application of chemistry in a forensic setting is very diverse. Various forensic expertise areas focus on the criminal misuse of chemical knowledge and products (drugs, explosives and ignitable liquids and fire debris analysis). Other forensic experts specialize in the chemical characterization of microtraces such as fibers, glass, paint and gunshot residues that are often generated and exchanged during incidents and can constitute important evidence linking individuals to crime scenes and criminal activities. Finally, chemistry is applied in the laboratory to assist the forensic investigation, for instance to visualize latent traces such as fingermarks. At the EAFS 2022 conference Chemistry sub-tracks have been defined according to forensic expertise area. A sub-track structure that is in line with how chemistry expertise is typically organized in forensic institutes will make it convenient for participants to submit their work and attend sessions of their interest. These areas are well known to the forensic scientists and do not need further explanation. 

Sub-tracks: 

  • Drugs 
  • Explosives 
  • Fingermark development 
  • Gunshot Residues (GSR) 
  • Ignitable Liquids and Fire Debris Analysis  
  • Paint and Glass 
  • Textile and Hair 
DNA/Forensic Genetics

Chair: Dr. John Butler          Co-chair: Associate Professor Ricky Ansell
NIST, US                                NFC / Linköping Univ., Sweden 

The field of forensic biology and genetic profiling, including the analysis of human and non-human nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) 

Sub-tracks: 

  • Body Fluids 

Search, recovery, characterisation, transfer and persistence of stains and cellular material (for subsequent nucleic acid analysis) 

  • Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) 

Aspects of genetic profiling as a tool for disaster victim identification 

  • Evaluative DNA 

Interpretation and evidentiary strength of DNA or RNA findings including statistics, mixture interpretation, and activity level propositions 

  • Investigative DNA 

Generating intelligence and investigative leads, including phenotyping & ancestry, investigative genetic genealogy, familial searches, and databases 

 

Digital Evidence

Chair: Professor Zeno Geradts                       Co-chair: Philip Engström
NFI / Univ. of Amsterdam, The Netherlands      NFC, Sweden 

This Track focuses on all kinds of digital evidence, ranging from any kind of computer systems, digital imaging, forensic visualizations as well using artificial intelligence. The rate of change is high in this field since developments of new devices are fast. The challenge is also to implement quality assurance since the amount of data generated is growing rapidly and millions of apps are developed in many versions. Also explainability in court should be well considered. Novel methods as well as validation of results and case reports are welcome for submission.  

Sub-tracks: 

  • Artificial Intelligence 

Any form of artificial intelligence used in digital forensics, including topics such as bias and explainability as well as ethical implications, big data analysis and use of systems for analysis of huge amounts of data – implemented in a reliable and valid way for forensic purposes. 

  • Computer, cybercrime, malware and database forensics 

The wide range of computer and database forensics as well as forensic investigation of malware and ransomware attacks. The sub-track also includes other forms of cybercrime such as anti-forensic software and decryption and data hiding. 

  • Digital Imaging 

Any form of forensic digital imaging, such as manipulation detection, interpretation, video recovery, comparison and camera identification. 

  • Forensic visualization (VR, AR, 3D) 

The use of technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality glasses, for 3D visualizations, e.g. as a tool for investigation or presentation in Court.  

  • Mobile device, network and location forensics 

Examination of smartphones and other mobile devices as well as the analysis of networks and related services.  

  • Vehicle forensics 

The number of on board systems and sensors in cars is rapidly expanding and information can be extracted from those for use, e.g. as evidence in Court. 

Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Chair: Professor Bela Kubat                                       Co-chair: Associate Professor Martin Josefsson
Maastricht Univ. / NFI, The Netherlands                        NFC / Linköping Univ., Sweden 

Forensic medical science can both contribute to and profit from the extensive knowledge in other forensic fields presented in this conference. Particularly we welcome contributions in much discussed medical fields, such as physical child abuse or death in restraint, as well as quickly developing toxicology fields, such as novel psychoactive substances and their toxicity or human performance toxicology. Contributions in more method related topics are welcomed as well, e.g. forensic neuropathology, age estimation of injuries or innovative in vitro and in vivo models for predictions of drug action and toxicity, as well as any other interesting research.  

Marks, Impressions and Biometric Traces

Chair: Professor Christophe Champod                             Co-chair: Professor Didier Meuwly
UNIL, Switzerland                                                                  NFI/ Univ. of Twente, The Netherlands 

This Track focuses on the forensic examination of all types of marks and impressions (e.g. firearms, tools footwear, garment and documents) and all types of biometric traces (e.g. friction ridge skin, face, speech, body, gait, handwriting and signature). It is open to submissions reporting on the examiner-based and automatic approaches, reporting on the source and activity level inference and reporting on the intelligence, investigative and evaluative phase of the forensic process. Multidisciplinary topics such as the combination of biometric traces or the combination of toolmarks and biological traces are also welcome. 

Sub-tracks: 

  • Body and gait 
  • Document, handwriting and signature 
  • Face recognition 
  • Firearms and tools 
  • Footwear and garment 
  • Friction ridge skin 
  • Speech recognition 
Scene of Crime

Chair: Professor Niamh Nic Daeid                                   Co-chair: Mike Groen
LRCFS, Univ. of Dundee, UK                                              NFI / Leiden Univ., The Netherlands 

There are many competing priorities that crime scene investigators and forensic experts attending crime scenes must address including enabling a scientific approach to the scene investigation that maintains quality so that a reconstruction that is valid in science can be developed for the Courts; ensuring that new technologies are implemented in a reliable and valid way; ensuring that technology and methods of practice used in crime scene training or competency testing are fit for purpose; understanding the impact of the developing digital technologies on crime scene investigation and its practitioners and understanding how crime scene examiners make decisions at crime scenes.   

Sub-tracks: 

  • Bloodstain pattern analysis
    New developments in the recording and interpretation of blood pattern analysis . 
  • Capturing the crime scene
    New and emerging technologies used to capture the crime scene, e.g. laser scanning, hyperspectral cameras or other type of sensors. 
  • Complex Scenes
    Scientifically based investigations of complex scenes, for example DVI scenes or CBRN scenes.  
  • Fire and explosion investigation
    Recent developments in practices of fire and explosion scene investigations. 
  • Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology
    Recent developments in the use of forensic anthropology and archeology in scene investigations. 
  • Implementing new technologies at crime scenes
    How are new technologies introduced safely to crime scene investigations so as to be accepted in the Courts?  
  • Trace evidence and interpretation
    The detection, recovery, analysis and interpretation (including transfer, persistence, recovery and background abundance) of trace evidence and their relevance to the reconstruction of an alleged crime. 
  • Training and education for crime scene investigators
    Ensuring that training, education and competency testing is fit for purpose, fills the gaps and is educationally valid. 
Forensic Management

Chair: Distinguished Professor Claude Roux              Co-chair: Honorary Professor Sheila Willis
UTS, Australia                                                                   LRCFS, Univ. of Dundee, UK 

In recent years there is a trend for forensic science managers to be professional managers who may have little knowledge of the field before taking up the position. This section of the conference caters for all interested in the management of forensic science, whether forensic scientists or not.  

Sub-tracks: 

  • “Doing the Right Thing” 

We are conscious that forensic science is also facing ongoing crises and concerns about how it deals with change. This is particularly salient, but not limited to, in the area of digital forensic science. “Doing the Right Thing”, invites speakers with views or reflections on what managers and all concerned need to do to ensure that forensic science remains fit for purpose in an ever-changing world. Innovation is frequently discussed, but many will recognise that moving from research to operation is not trivial, and again potential speakers are encouraged to share their experiences or reflections. The importance of the scene, whether that be a location, a hard drive or a body, is acknowledged. Yet, the complexity of bureaucracy moves laboratory functions further away from the scene. This section welcomes any papers on how to manage disruptive change. 

  • “Doing Things the Right Way” 

The concerns today include effectiveness, efficiency, quality systems, coordination and above all, the people who deliver the various functions. If you have experience or information on any of the above that will help other managers; please submit a paper to our section on “Doing Things the Right Way”. 

  • Education and Training 

People are a vital component to the effective delivery of forensic science across the many different fields, models and jurisdictions. Education and continuing professional development (CPD) is the responsibility of management and that of the education and training providers and individuals. It is also recognised that some culture change must happen in forensic science, which is greatly facilitated by education. We seek papers from anyone who has views on or experience of what educational basis is appropriate or what CPD is helpful to deliver your mission. 

Forensic Statistics

Chair: Associate Professor Anders Nordgaard                   Co-chair: Dr. Tereza Neocleous
NFC/ Linköping Univ., Sweden                                                 Univ. of Glasgow, UK

Probabilistic modelling and statistical inference with forensic data, including methods for prediction and decision-making. Machine learning methods comprising statistical inference applied to big datasets. Connections with data analysis in the field of digital evidence, evaluative DNA approaches, trace material evaluation and other instances of probabilistic-based interpretation. 

European Perspective

Chair: Dr. Bart Nys                                              Co-chair: Dr. Nada Milisavljevic
NICC, Belgium                                                      DG Home, European Commission 

Forensic science and crime fighting are ever more dependent on international collaboration on a global level and between all levels of authority. ENFSI – as implied in its very name – has always been very focused on European information exchange and cooperation between its member labs and this has been observed and recognised by the European Commission. 

In this track we invite collaborative projects primarily financed or co-financed by the European Commission to present their work to a broad audience of forensic practitioners, forensic researchers etc. This will be a great opportunity for dissemination of results as well as finding new, both European and international, partners.  

Legal & Ethical Aspects

Chair: Dr. Justice Tettey                                    Co-chair: Professor Niamh Nic Daeid
UNODC                                                                LRCFS, Univ. of Dundee, UK 

The relationship between forensic science and the law is critical in supporting fair and transparent criminal justice systems, and thus enforcing the rule of law. Forensic science is experiencing rapid advances in the use of data science, machine and deep learning tools for both intelligence and evidence purposes, all of which require professional competence and ethics. This presents profound ethical challenges to both the legal and scientific communities on how and what data are retrieved, triaged, analysed and presented in our Courts while protecting human rights, ensuring the right to a fair trial and presenting evidence in a competent and ethical manner.   

This track will see three fundamental questions being discussed:  

  • What are the challenges and ethical issues to the use of AI in legal processes and as an evidential tool?  
  • How do we rationalise the right to privacy of the individual and the use of their data in criminal cases? 
  • How do we address personal competence and ethical dilemmas in forensic science practice? 

Contact

General questions
Contact the conference bureau, Meetagain eafs2022@meetagain.se  +46 8 664 58 00