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Scientific Foundations of BPA - Session 1
"The uncertainties associated with bloodstain pattern analysis are enormous." Those words concluded the discussion on bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) in the 2009 report issued by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. That singular sentence, along with a few well-publicized examples of errors made by a few analysts, have been the basis for some to question and challenge the validity of BPA in recent years. This presentation is an answer to those challenges. Skeptics are correct in their expectation that all scientific evidence provided in courts must rest firmly on scientific foundations and be trustworthy. This presentation will take a methodical approach to examining the scientific principles which lay at the heart of the discipline and how those principles are not unique to BPA. These same principles of feature-based classifications and event reconstruction are widely used across a number of established and accepted fields of science. This presentation will also discuss published studies which provide insight into the reliability of pattern classification. Additionally, the presentation will also discuss the nature of errors and why an erroneous conclusion, or even numerous erroneous conclusions, does not diminish the credibility of the broader discipline of BPA. Finally, the presentation will discuss how the community and individual analysts can strengthen and expand the scientific foundations of bloodstain pattern analysis.

Oct 13, 2020 08:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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