I was delighted to discover that Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, was – prior to becoming a lawyer – a chemist. I do not meet many people with this background, and am occasionally at a loss to describe precisely why I followed this path. (It just seemed to me, as an 18 year old choosing university degrees, that both science and law were interesting, and worthy of further study. I’ve not changed my view since then.) And so it was with great delight that I happened upon Lord Neuberger’s speech to the Royal Society in London last year, on “Science and Law: Contrasts and Cooperation“, in which he sets out some autobiographical information and many pertinent points about the state of science and law today. A highly recommended read.
“Scores of talented and dedicated people serve the forensic science community, performing vitally important work. However, they are often constrained by lack of adequate resources, sound policies, and national support. It is clear that change and advancements, both systematic and scientific, are needed in a number of forensic science disciplines to ensure the reliability of work, establish enforceable standards, and promote best practices with consistent application. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward provides a detailed plan for addressing these needs and suggests the creation of a new government entity, the National Institute of Forensic Science, to establish and enforce standards within the forensic science community.”