In episode two of the Improving the System season, Just Science met with Gerry LaPorte, former Director of the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at NIJ, to discuss forensic science research and development innovations. Over the course of his career, Gerry LaPorte has worked with scores of agencies across multiple disciplines on varied, high-profile cases. From granular points about chemistry to the philosophy of science at large, this 2018 conversation reflects the diversity of his résumé. Listen along as our guest discusses the value of statistics, the definition of light, and his experience working as Chief Forensic Chemist with the Secret Service in this episode of Just Science.
This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].
Gerald LaPorte is the Director of Research Innovation for the Global Forensic and Justice Center at the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) a program of Florida International University (FIU). LaPorte, former Chief Forensic Research Chemist for the U.S. Secret Service, most recently served as Director in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. He brings decades of experience and knowledge in forensic science. LaPorte served on the National Commission on Forensic Science, a body of esteemed scientists, law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges, with the underlying objective to improve the quality and practice of forensic science. During his tenure at NIJ, he oversaw national efforts such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, and grant programs for state and local forensic laboratories to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic services. Under LaPorte’s leadership, research and development at NIJ has become the most prominent and highly funded program in the world focused on advancing the forensic sciences.