UCI faculty, including Social Ecology professors Simon Cole, Elizabeth Loftus and William Thompson, will help lead a new national Forensic Science Center of Excellence. Aimed at improving criminal evidence analysis and reducing wrongful convictions, it will be funded by a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). UCI will receive about $4 million, which will be used by ICS and Social Ecology faculty and students. The center, headquartered at Iowa State University, will also partner with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Virginia. It will incorporate both a research agenda – developing new probabilistic methods and statistical tools – and education to ensure that judges, lawyers and investigators can effectively understand the results of statistical analyses on pattern and digital forensic evidence.
Photo credit: Cpl. James P. Johnson, U.S. Army