Snapshot of Important Forensic Statistics Activity

  • 2009 National Research Council Report

In the preface to the report, the co-chairs of the council emphasized that "The forensic science system, encompassing both research and practice, has serious problems that can only be addressed by a national commitment to overhaul the current structure that supports the forensic science community in this country." There are many recommendations in the report which you can read here.

  • 2014 Creation of Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC)

"OSAC strengthens the nation’s use of forensic science by facilitating the development and promoting the use of high-quality, technically sound standards. These standards define minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols and other guidance to help ensure that the results of forensic analysis are reliable and reproducible." Learn more about OSAC here.

  • 2015 Creation of Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE)

"The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) is building a statistically sound and scientifically solid foundation for the analysis and interpretation of forensic evidence, as well as improving quantitative literacy among forensic practitioners, legal professionals and other stakeholders through educational opportunities." Learn more about CSAFE here.

  • 2016 President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Report

In their letter to President Obama, the co-chairs state, "PCAST concluded that there are two important gaps: (1) the need for clarity about the scientific standards for the validity and reliability of forensic methods and (2) the need to evaluate specific forensic methods to determine whether they have been scientifically established to be valid and reliable. Our study aimed to help close these gaps for a number of forensic 'feature-comparison' methods—specifically, methods for comparing DNA samples, bite marks, latent fingerprints, firearm marks, footwear, and hair." You can read the full report here.

  • 2019 ASA Advisory Committee on Forensic Science Statement

The statement begins by saying, "The American Statistical Association (ASA) has supported efforts to strengthen the inferential foundations that enable forensic scientists to report scientifically valid conclusions. This document focuses on how statements and opinions should be reported to accurately convey the strengths and limitations of forensic findings to ensure their scientific value is used appropriately in a legal context." For all the details, read the full statement here.

  • 2023 Creation of ASA Forensic Statistics Interest Group