Science Communication and Criminal Justice

Science Communication and Criminal Justice

Author: Niamh Nic Daeid – Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee, United Kingdom


  • Lucina Hackman – Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, United Kingdom

There is no other place in which science and the communication of that science is so rigorously tested than within the justice system. The identification and recovery of potential evidence at a crime scene, the analysis of the recovered materials within a laboratory, the interpretation, evaluation and communication of the relevance of the laboratory results to the public who have a decision to make in regards to guilt or innocence are all chapters within the narrative of a legal procedure.

This presentation will highlight the important role of science communication and the challenges it faces in the justice setting. What do we know already and how are the challenges being addressed? How might technology play a role in transforming the communication of science in the justice system? How can we use the power of narrative to transform the presentation of science in the courtroom?

We will present our experience in how:
– Disparate groups in the justice system, from judges to forensic practitioners to members of the public can be brought together in strategic conversations to create research projects and highlight the challenges faced in understanding and communication
– Applications of virtual and augmented reality may aid but also may complicate the picture for how scientific evidence is handled within the justice system
– Involving citizen scientists in research can impact communication
– Communication tools such as comics may support the jury in understanding evidence

The Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science is a £10 million, 10 year award winning disruptive research centre with the aim of increasing the robustness of scientific evidence used within the justice system and ensuring that forensic science is communicated correctly and appropriately.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Transformation