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NIST Issues Call for Applications to Organization of Scientific Area Committees; Part of Forensic Science Reform

By Steve Pierson posted 04-13-2014 10:42

[6/6/14 update: 25 statisticians applied for OSAC positions. To see for what positions they applied see slide 13 of these slides.]

On April 11, NIST issued a call for its Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), a newly established structure to strengthen forensic science. While issuing a broad call across the forensic science community, NIST has also asked the American Statistical Association (ASA) to share this call with the statistical community, recognizing the important role of statistical scientists in forensic science reform.  

The ASA urges its members to see the NIST page on OSAC roles and responsibilities and to apply. The important role that statistical scientists can play in forensic science reform is widely recognized but the demand for statisticians is beyond what the ASA Forensic Science Ad Hoc Advisory Committee can fulfill. So we are extending this call more broadly to help ensure that statistics and statisticians can fully contribute to forensic science reform.

Applications are due May 11.

According to the call, "OSAC will consist of a Forensic Science Standards Board, three resource committees, five scientific area committees and 23 subcommittees. NIST needs between 500 and 600 subject matter experts representing a balance of experience and perspectives to serve on OSAC. An OSAC term will be three years, although the initial appointees will serve terms of two, three or four years so that subsequent members are appointed on a staggered basis."

The figure accompanying the NIST OSAC call.
Emphasizing the role of statisticians, the Roles and Responsibilities page states the target membership of each of the 23 subcommittees is, "20 percent researchers and scientists which may include statisticians, measurement scientists, and accreditation and certification specialists."

For more information, the best resource is the Roles and Responsibilities page. For background on the creation of the OSAC, see this NIST presentation at the February meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The main NIST OSAC webpage is also helpful.

For more on the ASA forensic science reform efforts, see this web page and these ASA Community blog entries:
See other ASA Science Policy blog entries. For ASA science policy updates, follow @ASA_SciPol on Twitter.