The realm of forensic science is one where precision is non-negotiable and even the smallest detail can significantly alter the course of justice. Despite its critical role in the criminal justice system, standardization in forensic science, particularly in the context of assays and methodologies, has not always kept pace with advancements in other scientific fields. This gap underscores the urgent need for the development and implementation of standardized forensic science assays to bolster reliability and consistency in legal proceedings.
The complexity of science and the nuanced nature of forensic evidence often lead to challenges in interpretation, especially when protocols are not standardised or universally adopted. This variability can introduce significant risks, including the potential for misinterpretation of evidence, biased results, and, most troublingly, miscarriages of justice. For instance, two separate labs might analyze DNA evidence differently, leading to divergent conclusions — a recipe for confusion in courtrooms.
Moreover, the need for robust, reliable tools in forensic science is becoming increasingly pressing as the science itself continues to evolve and become more intricate. New types of evidence and novel technologies for analysis are constantly emerging, yet without standardization, we risk these advancements causing more harm than good. The scientific community needs to ensure that as our capabilities grow, so too does our consistency.
Science on Trial is preparing to obtain funding to develop the following tools: