Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science

Helping with Inquiries or Helping with Profits? The Trials and Tribulations of a Technology of Forensic Reasoning

C. Lawless & R. Williams. Social Studies of Science, 40(5), pp. 731–755. (2010)

Abstract

The commercialization of forensic scientific provision in the UK over the last two decades has had a major role in shaping a changing epistemic identity for forensic scientists working within this jurisdiction. Efforts to match the presumed epistemological standards of the ‘pure’ sciences have been brought together with concerns about value for money in a new approach to the interpretation of evidence, an activity that lies at the heart of criminal investigative practice. A study of the Case Assessment and Interpretation method developed by members of the UK Forensic Science Service is used to show how a technical innovation in the delivery of forensic science services to the police has instantiated these two recent social processes.

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