|Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 09:21 pm: ||
In my thesis I stick with published material - as the old saying goes "no one knows that you are a dog on the internet". I do also however think that a forum such as this one can provide an opportunity for some leads on people that I could then communicate with further. For example people often can suggest published works or case law that I haven't become aware of in the course of my study.
Quoting opinion on the internet that has no supporting evidence is something that I would fail an undergraduate essay on, let alone more serious postgraduate work.
Anyway - thanks for your tip on IAI membership.
|Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 11:39 am: ||
Your desire to include web postings in your PhD thesis sounds familiar.
Like all fingerprint experts, I welcome meaningful research, but on this topic I recommend that Latent Print Examiners not answer your posted request.
I recommend you immediately join the International Association for Identification (IAI). Your membership will provide you with a roster that indicates those persons registering their interest as fingerprints. Some in the roster are only interested in fingerprints and are not experts, some are practicing LP Examiners who are not certified and many hundreds are Certified Latent Print Examiners. The initials CLPE behind names in the roster indicates those who are Certified Latent Print Examiners. Thus, you can then communicate (e-mail, phone or snail-mail) with a variety of fingerprint practitioners (both Certified and uncertified) and request research input. Your input will then be much more reliable than postings on the web. Your data will also then not be skewed toward those LP Examiners who visit onin.com.
There are no controls on who can pose as an expert and provide opinions on the Internet. Anything posted on this board by a teenager from the Philippines posing as a Latent Print Examiner employed in New York, may be construed as the Gospel truth by those reading the posting… and later raise its ugly head in our courtrooms as the alleged truth of how LP Examiners think and operate. You did not make the “heh-heh-heh” posting by “Orin Thomas” immediately before this posting.
Collecting information from the Internet means that you may encounter inaccurate and incorrect postings from persons posing as experts but having no more expertise than my dog.
Even among real experts, those making www-board postings may communicate more feelings and emotions than fact concerning topics about which they feel strongly. They may sometimes exaggerate or even make flippant comments... as when talking on an airplane to a stranger one never expects to see again. In recent court hearings such as US. v. Mitchell, e-mails and electronic wwwboard postings have been entered into evidence (sometimes collected from us by subpoena).
Latent Print Examiners have been listening to Simon Cole make claims (in his book and in his many news interviews) about what he "uncovered" concerning the shady side of fingerprint expertise while working on his PhD thesis. A considerable part of Cole’s research was conducted while lurking on the Internet and "listening" to LP Examiners. Cole’s research and opinions were characterized as “junk science” by the one court which held a hearing to scrutinize him (see NY v. Hyatt).
In your research, please be sure to contact practicing defense attorneys and inquire about their ability to retain independent experts to review government fingerprint findings. Unless they have no Internet connectivity, it would be pretty difficult for them to claim there is an absence of well-qualified private consultant experts available.
Best wishes in your endeavors. I hope to read in my next IAI membership roster that you were serious enough about your research to become a member. I also hope you will consider publishing your research in the IAI's official journal, the Journal of Forensic Identification.
|Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 11:02 am: ||
|Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 12:47 am: ||
Hi There - this is my first post. I assume that if it is in the wrong place then a moderator will nuke it or move it.
I'm writing a Ph.D thesis on the Daubert standard.
My general theme is that Daubert is an inadequate
standard for deciding what should be admitted as
scientific and what should be discarded as pseudoscientific. Part of this critique is based on case law, and part of it is based on debates within the Philosophy of Science community as to what constitutes a good standard for demarcating science from pseudoscience. Though quite clearly the needs of philosophers academically debating an issue and the needs of courtrooms for a benchmark test do diverge, there is enough similarity (the Supreme Court even quoting several Philosophers of Science in its Daubert decision) that some comparrisons can be made.
There is some discussion of Daubert on the front page, and some discussion of the nature of science and scientific knowledge in the FAQs. What I am wondering is, what is the opinion of people in this forum about Daubert? Is the standard a good one? Is it being correctly applied in cases like USA v Plaza?
My impression of the Daubert decision is that it has become what it was not meant to become: "we do not presume to set out a definitive checklist or test" - Daubert Decision (section II C). What do other people think?