Leicester forensic experts to teach on American CSI summer camp

Posted by pt91 at Jul 02, 2013 10:27 AM |
Dr John Bond and Dr Lisa Smith will teach on an American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ CSI Summer Camp from July 8 to 12

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 2 July 2013

Photograph of Dr John Bond available from pt91@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester experts will guide students through a mock crime scene as part of a prestigious forensic science summer course in the USA.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and Dr Steven Lee, Director of the Forensic Science programmes at San Jose State University, have invited Dr John Bond OBE and Dr Lisa Smith to teach on one of its annual CSI Summer Camps from July 8 to 12.

Dr Bond, of the University’s Department of Chemistry, and Dr Lisa Smith, of the University’s Department of Criminology, are both internationally-renowned experts in the field of forensic science and criminal justice.

They are both Associate Directors and founding members of the University’s Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute.

The AAFS and the Forensic Science Program at SJSU, have arranged for them to travel to San Jose State University, California, to teach university students the essential techniques and methodologies of forensic science over a week-long course.

The students will have to examine a mock crime scene set up by the academics – in which a violent assault involving firearms has happened.

The students will need to gather forensic evidence in order to establish the motive behind the crime – and ultimately to identify the attacker.

During the week they will learn essential techniques such as fingerprinting, footwear pattern analysis, and DNA fingerprinting – a process discovered at the University of Leicester by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys.  They will also lecture on other aspects of criminal investigations such as criminal profiling, and eyewitness testimony.

On the final day, the students will have to present their evidence in a mock court scenario, and will be cross-examined by the Leicester academics.

Dr John Bond said: “It is quite an honour to be sponsored by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and SJSU, to go over to the US and teach their students. It is an indicator that the UK and the University of Leicester is the place to go to for forensic science expertise.

“Lisa and I bring quite a unique blend to forensic teaching. I am a physical scientist, covering forensic evidence techniques, while Lisa is a social scientist, specialising in the criminal justice system.

“We hope the course will show students all the basics of how forensic science works – and we want to debunk the theory that it is like the TV show CSI.”

Dr Lisa Smith, said: “I will be talking to the students about how forensic science can help identify and correct miscarriages of justice, but also how it can contribute to wrongful convictions in some cases. I will also explain issues around the DNA database, and the differences between how it used in the UK and the US.

“We hope this will give them a critical perspective, as well as an international perspective on how things are done differently in other countries.”

Professor Steven Lee, Director of the Forensic Science programmes at San Jose State University, said: “Dr Bond and Dr Smith are leaders in their fields and we have already been collaborating on a number of research and teaching initiatives. We are very excited to have both Dr. Bond and Dr. Smith here at SJSU to help instruct the CSI Camp and expose our campers and students to their expertise.

“We hope to teach our campers and students the basics of crime scene investigation and forensic science through hands on activities, critical thinking exercises and advanced lectures. For some, it will be their first exposure to real crime scene investigation and the rigorous science utilized behind the scenes.”

After finishing on the summer camp, the academics will meet with colleagues in the San Francisco Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to discuss ongoing collaborations.

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact:

Dr John Bond OBE on email: jwb13@le.ac.uk

Dr Lisa Smith at: ls149@le.ac.uk

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