Past Seasons

2022 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification

Identifying unknown human remains requires the strategic use of investigative techniques and scientific methods. This includes utilizing various forensic methods to gather the decedent’s biometrics, collecting familial reference samples for comparison, and inputting available information into comprehensive databases to facilitate connections to cases nationwide and internationally. These efforts can help bring closure to families, identify victims of mass disasters, and find missing persons. Listen along as our guests detail techniques for human identification including forensic genetic genealogy, postmortem fingerprinting, forensic anthropology, and forensic art, as well as the application of comprehensive databases to casework.

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Just Identifying Individuals with Forensic Genetic Genealogy
Release Date: September 9, 2022
Guests: Dr. Heather McKiernan and Ashley Rodriguez

Just Identifying Decedents through Postmortem Prints
Release Date:
September 16, 2022
Guest:
Bryan Johnson

Just Leveraging Databases for Human Identification
Release Date:
September 23, 2022
Guests:
Lori Bruski and Amy Jenkinson

Just Using Forensic Art and Anthropology for Identification
Release Date:
September 30, 2022
Guests:
Katharine Pope, Dr. Bruce Anderson, and Joe Mullins

Case Studies: Part 1

Case studies generate in-depth, multi-faceted understanding of complex issues in real-life contexts. As the criminal justice landscape continues to evolve, practitioners see and experience new and different cases every day. No two cases are alike and though it would be impossible to learn from all of them, this special Case Studies mini-season provides something for everyone. Listen in as our guests share tales of curious latent print evidence, a Sin City hit-and-run, forensic archeology in “no-body” homicides, an elusive serial rapist in the South, and more!

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Just A Curious Case of Print Persistence
Release Date: August 5, 2022
Guest: Michael Fagert

Just Solving A Hit-and-Run In Sin City
Release Date:
August 12, 2022
Guest:
Stacey Chepren

Just Forensic Archaeology And Body Dump Sites
Release Date:
August 19, 2022
Guest:
Dr. Sharon Moses

Just Solving Cold Cases With Forensic Genetic Genealogy
Release Date:
August 26, 2022
Guest:
Leighton D'Antoni

Case Studies: Part 2

Case Studies are an important tool for providing insight and expanding knowledge into the criminal justice field. Hearing how scientific processes are applied to real-life cases can provide avenues for ingenuity, opportunities for learning, and ways to support other cases. In Part 2 of our Case Studies mini-season, listen along as our guests recount their experiences using autopsy information for crime scene reconstruction, using forensic services to help solve cold cases, identifying unknown victims, and more!

This season of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Just Autopsy Results and Crime Scene Reconstruction
Release Date: November 25, 2022
Guest: Kelly Ayers

Just Identifying Gacy's Victims Part 1
Release Date:
December 2, 2022
Guest:
Jason Moran

Just Identifying Gacy's Victims Part 2
Release Date:
December 9, 2022
Guest:
Jason Moran

Just Identifying Lake Erie John Doe
Release Date:
December 16, 2022
Guests: 
Dr. Thomas Gilson, Dr. Harmeet Kaur, and Hristina Lekova

Strengthening the Forensic Workforce

young forensic scientistThe Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) was established by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in 2004 to maintain and enhance the quality of forensic science education.  FEPAC-accreditation is one way for students and hiring managers to recognize and distinguish high-quality undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs. In addition to FEPAC, university faculty and forensic practitioners also emphasize the importance of support from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for student research projects as they prepare for a career in forensic science. During this season of Just Science, we sat down with distinguished university faculty, FEPAC Commissioners, and forensic practitioners to shed light on the benefits of accreditation, student research, and NIJ involvement in collegiate programs. Our guests provide insight on their FEPAC-accredited programs across forensic disciplines and share advice for current students, professors, and forensic professionals.

Just FEPAC Accreditation And Forensic Chemistry Programs
Release Date: May 6, 2022
Guests: Dr. José R. Almirall and Dr. Sarah Kerrigan

Just Higher Education And The CSI Effect
Release Date: May 13, 2022
Guests: Dr. Sarah Williams and Dr. Keith Morris

Just Digital Forensics Program Development And Outlook
Release Date: May 20, 2022
Guests: Dr. Mark R. McCoy and Josh Brunty

Just The Analysis Of Impressions And Patterns
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Guests: Jessica Zarate, Kristen Szabelski, and Dr. Christine Picard

Just The Components Of Forensic Biology And DNA
Release Date: June 3, 2022
Guests: Dr. Robin Cotton and Dr. Daniele Podini

Just Trace Evidence From Classroom To Courtroom
Release Date: June 10, 2022
Guests: Dr. Brooke Kammrath and Dr. Tatiana Trejos

Just Forensic Toxicology And Professional Partnerships
Release Date: June 17, 2022
Guest(s): Dr. Karen Scott and Dr. Jarrad Wagner

Just The Forensic Laboratory Workforce Part 1
Release Date: June 24, 2022
Guest(s): Dr. Peter Stout, Dr. Ray Wickenheiser, and Matthew Gamette

Just The Forensic Laboratory Workforce Part 2
Release Date: July 1, 2022
Guest(s): Dr. Peter Stout, Dr. Ray Wickenheiser, and Matthew Gamette

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2022

Lady justice and blue ribbonSexual Assault Awareness Month is observed every April as a campaign to increase awareness about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. In honor of this effort, Just Science sat down with multiple subject matter experts to discuss recent developments in sexual assault response reform. Listen along as our guests discuss the latest research associated with the prevalence of strangulation in sexual assault cases, understanding how to identify and document strangulation while supporting safety concerns for victims in these cases, supporting and effectively prosecuting sexual assault cases with male and transgender victims, supporting victims of non-reported and anonymous sexual assault kits, and much more in this season of Just Science.    

Just Sexual Assault Response and Supporting Vulnerable Populations
Release Date: April 1, 2022
Guest: Mary Weston

Just Research Of Dating Apps And Violent Sexual Assault Cases
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Guest: Dr. Julie Valentine

Just Trauma-Informed Patient Interviewing and Prevalence of Strangulation
Release Date: April 15, 2022
Guest: Kelly Taylor

Just Research On Anonymous And Unreported Sexual Assault Cases
Release Date: April 22, 2022
Guests: Dr. Rachael Goodman-Williams and Dr. Jessica Volz

Just Trauma-Informed Approaches and Advocacy for Vulnerable Populations
Release Date: April 29, 2022
Guest: Natasha Simone Alexenko

Perspectives on At-Home Sexual Assault Kits

Just Science is excited to release our next season: Perspectives on At-Home Sexual Assault Kits. This season takes a closer look at DNA collection in sexual assault cases, with an emphasis on analyzing the efficacy of at-home sexual assault kits. In this new season of Just Science, tune in as we speak to a range of subject matter experts – all with varying perspectives on the topic – to discuss the role of at-home sexual assault kits when responding to sexual assault cases. 

Just Supporting Evidence Collection In Sexual Assault Cases
Release Date: January 7, 2022
Guest: Dr. Julie Valentine

Just the Intersection of At-Home Kits And Healing
Release Date: January 14, 2022
Guest: Monica Gardner

Just A Pediatrics Viewpoint On At-Home Sexual Assault Kits
Release Date: January 21, 2022
Guest: Dr. Toni Laskey

Just Addressing Child Sexual Violence
Release Date: January 28, 2022
Guest: Laurieann Thorpe

Just Key Considerations for Investigations of Sexual Assault Cases
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Guest: Scott Mourtgos

Just Analyzing At-Home Kits
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Guest: Jay Henry

Just A Prosecutor's Perspective On At-Home Kits
Release Date: February 18, 2022
Guest: Patti Powers

Just A Trauma-Informed Response To At-Home Sexual Assault Kits
Release Date: February 25, 2022
Guests: Natasha Alexenko, Lieutenant Jordan Satinsky, and Marya Simmons


2021 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

Special Release Episode: Firearms Research

firearms research

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) supports the implementation of innovative technologies that address the challenges faced by the forensic science community. In this special release episode, Just Science sat down with Nicole Jones and John Grassel to discuss toolmark analysis and advanced capabilities in firearms. Listen along as these expert forensic scientists discuss the work the FTCoE performs to address firearm violence, how evidence is collected from a firearm, and the FTCoE’s upcoming Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum on January 11-14, 2022 in this episode of Just Science.

Just Advanced Capabilities In Firearm And Toolmark Analysis
Release Date: December 3, 2021
Guests: Nicole Jones and John Grassel

Special Release Episode: Diversity & Inclusion

scientists

Forensics is a fast-growing field making the need for racial and gender representation among its practitioners critically important. In this special release episode, Just Science sat down with Donia Slack and Dale Hart to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in forensics. From confronting biased research to experiencing microaggressions and feelings of “imposter syndrome,” our expert panelists know the realities of being underrepresented in the field. Listen along as they detail their experiences as forensic scientists of color, articulate how bias and underrepresentation can produce flawed findings, and discuss the impact that diversity and inclusion has had in their careers in this episode of Just Science.

Just Diversity & Inclusion in Forensic Science
Release Date: November 19, 2021
Guests: Donia Slack and Dale Hart

Workforce Resiliency

scales and flowers

Just Science is excited to release our next mini season: Workforce Resiliency. From sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) to medicolegal death investigators (MDIs), this season takes a closer look at forensic science practitioners performing their jobs under difficult circumstances. Tune in as we discuss the realities of work-related stress and vicarious trauma, as well as strategies to mitigate their effects in this new season of Just Science.

Just Workforce Resiliency for MDIs
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Guests: Dr. Jennifer Rineer and Kelly Keyes

Just Workforce Resiliency for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Part 1
Release Date: October 29, 2021
Guest: Dr. Cara Berg Raunick

Just Workforce Resiliency for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, Part 2
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Guest: Dr. Cara Berg Raunick

Just Literature on Stress & Resiliency in Forensic Science
Release Date: November 12, 2021
Guest: Donia Slack

Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases

Lady Justice with DNA overlayIn response to the success of our sexual assault response reform mini season for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April of 2021, Just Science is excited to release our next season: Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases. This multi-faceted season covers a variety of topics within the arena of sexual assault response reform, including sexual assault kit standardization, crossover offending, lawfully owed DNA, victim-centered interviewing, touch DNA, partially tested sexual assault kits, and much more. Tune in as we unpack sexual assault myths and address some of the key issues currently associated with sexual assault response reform in this new season of Just Science.

Just Lawfully Owed DNA
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Guests: Dr. Rachel Lovell and Mary Weston

Just Touch DNA and Sexual Assault Groping Cases
Release Date: July 23, 2021
Guests: Dr. Julie L. Valentine and Heather Mills

Just Trauma-Informed Victim-Centered Interviewing
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Guests: Jordan Satinsky, Marya L. Simmons, and Natasha Simone Alexenko

Just a Cost Benefit Analysis of Sexual Assault Investigation
Release Date: August 6, 2021
Guests: Dr. Rachel Lovell and Mary Weston

Just Advocacy for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Guest: Marya L. Simmons

Just Supporting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
Release Date: August 20, 2021
Guest: Patricia Powers

Just Partially Tested Sexual Assault Kits
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Guests: Dr. Rachel Lovell and Mary Weston

Just Considerations for Older Survivors
Release Date: September 3, 2021
Guest: Patricia Powers

Just Advocating for Older Survivors
Release Date: September 10, 2021
Guest: Marya L. Simmons

Just Crossover Offending
Release Date: September 17, 2021
Guests: Dr. Rachel Lovell and Mary Weston

Just Standardizing Sexual Assault Kits
Release Date: September 24, 2021
Guests: Maureen Platt, Denise S. Covington, Danielle Lindgren, and Bonnie R. Bentley

NIJ R&D and Beyond

2021 R&D Podcast SeasonDespite being virtual, NIJ’s 2021 R&D Symposium was one of the most successful iterations of this meeting to date. With over 600 attendees across the globe, the audience was exceptionally diverse in terms of location and forensic discipline. In this Just Science mini-series, we sat down with the program managers of the four NIJ forensic portfolios to discuss the symposium and the future of their respective research areas. Listen along as our guests discuss research and emerging topics in various forensic disciplines, including seized drugs and toxicology; impression, pattern, and trace evidence; anthropology and forensic pathology; and DNA and biology!

Just Seized Drugs and Toxicology Portfolio
Release Date: June 4, 2021
Guest: Dr. Frances Scott

Just the Impression and Pattern/Trace Evidence Portfolio
Release Date: June 11, 2021
Guest: Dr. Gregory Dutton

Just Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Pathology Portfolio
Release Date: June 18, 2021
Guest: Danielle McLeod-Henning

Just the Biology and DNA Portfolio
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Guest: Tracey Johnson

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

sexual assault awareness month seasonAs national efforts to address sexual assault response reform continue to grow, more and more jurisdictions are resolving their sexual assault kit backlog and identifying causes associated with the accumulation of sexual assault kits. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Just Science sat down with leaders in the field of sexual assault response reform to talk about current issues in this arena, including the impact of COVID-19. Listen along as our guests discuss methods for supporting victims of sexual assault while presenting considerations and resources for improving sexual assault response reform in this special release season of Just Science.

Illicit Substance Use Response

Illicit substance use response album coverDespite national efforts to reduce the impact, illicit substance abuse continues to rise in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that there were an average of 128 opioid related deaths per day in 2018. These numbers continue to rise. In order to meet the challenge head on, scientists, community leaders, justice professionals, and everyday citizens are working tirelessly to slow the abuse of opioids and reduce the impact that they have on our communities. In this season of Just Science, we’re sitting down with experts in the field to discuss topics like stigma, recovery, policy solutions, public safety systems, identifying drug trends, and much more.

Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants Part 1
Release Date: January 22, 2021
Guest: Dr. Jon E. Zibbell

Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants Part 2
Release Date: January 29, 2021
Guest: Dr. Jon E. Zibbell

Just the Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats
Release Date: February 5, 2021
Guests: Dr. Alex J. Krotulski and Amanda L.A. Mohr

Just the Story of the Healthy Grandfamilies Program
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Guest: Bonnie Dunn

Just Partnerships to Enhance Overdose Fatality Review
Release Date: February 19, 2021
Guest: Mallory O’Brien

Just Alternative Crisis Response: One Community's Experience
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Guest: Tim Black

Just Building Policy From the Ground Up
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Guest: Dr. Alex H. Kral

Just the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System
Release Date: March 12, 2021
Guest: DeMia Pressley

Just Addressing the Stigma of Substance Abuse Disorder
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Guest: Clarence Jordan

Just Polysubstance Use and the Importance of Data Trends
Release Date: March 26, 2021
Guest: Josh Yohannan


2020 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

Case Studies

Criminal investigations often necessitate the application of a multitude of forensic disciplines. While some cases can be solved by a single piece of evidence, most have a myriad of evidence types to forward and investigation. Bloodstains, DNA analysis, latent prints, digital evidence, and reliable police work lead to arrests and can stop a criminal before any more damage is done.  

In our latest season, Case Studies, we sat down with a variety of experts and talked about their most interesting cases. Join us as we discuss bloodstain pattern analysis, photography, serial killers, and much more in this dynamic season of Just Science! 

Episodes Include:

Just Psychopathy and Criminal Behavior
Release Date: November 6, 2020
Guest: Mitchell Pilkington

Just the Story Behind Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Release Date: November 13, 2020
Guest: Erin Sims

Just the Jodi Arias Case
Release Date: November 20, 2020
Guest: Heather Conner

Just Fingerprints And Lasers
Release Date: November 27, 2020
Guest: Brian Dalrymple

Just the Grim Sleeper Serial Killer
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Guest: Rockne Harmon

Just Identifying Fingerprints Through Photographs
Release Date: December 11, 2020
Guest: Karen Oswald

Just Erroneous Identification
Release Date: December 18, 2020
Guests: John Vanderkolk and Marcus Montooth

Just Off The Shelf Forensics
Release Date: December 25, 2020
Guests: Tim Schade and Brian Cochran

Special Release Episode: Forensic Genetic Geneaology & GEDmatch

In this Forensic Science Week special episode, Just Science interviews Brett Williams, the CEO of Verogen, about the GEDmatch database, how it can be used by law enforcement to perform forensic genealogy searches for investigative leads, and the short- and long-term plans Verogen has for the widely used database and related services.

Verogen is a spin-off of the Illumina corporation and has grown to be an innovator in the realm of forensic genomic technologies. Since their inception, Verogen has evolved from forensic applications to focus on biometrics-based human identification, as a whole. Following this vision, in December of 2019 Verogen acquired GEDmatch, a crowd-sourced database used by millions of genealogy enthusiasts to trace their family trees, but more recently it has been adopted by law enforcement to aid in cold case investigations. Listen along with our guest host, Donia Slack, as she and Brett Williams discuss the impact that genetic genealogy and GEDmatch have had on the criminal justice system in this episode of Just Science.

Just Forensic Genetic Genealogy and GEDmatch:  Verogen’s Approach
Release Date: September 25, 2020
Guest: Brett Williams

Digital Evidence

While the realm of digital evidence is still relatively new, it requires validation and testing like all forensic disciplines. Digital evidence is a dynamic discipline that can often provide greater insight into the investigation of a crime or the defense of the alleged perpetrator. In this season of Just Science, we will be covering the history and interpretation of digital evidence, emerging technologies used in investigation and as evidence, and the validation of digital forensic tools. 

Just the Evolution of Digital Evidence
Release Date: July 16, 2020
Guest: Paul Reedy

Just A Public Defender’s Perspective
Release Date: July 23, 2020
Guest: Nicolas Hughes

Just Digital Evidence in the Courts of Appeals
Release Date: July 30, 2020
Guest: Martin Novak

Just Data Stories
Release Date: August 6, 2020
Guest: Paul Reedy

Just Digital Evidence 101
Release Date: August 13, 2020
Guest: Matt Ruddell

Just NIST’s Digital Forensics Black Box Study
Release Date: August 20, 2020
Guest: Barbara Guttman

Just Deepfakes
Release Date: August 27, 2020
Guests: Dr. Catalin Grigoras and Cole Whitecotton

Just the Impact of Disturbing Media
Release Date: September 3, 2020
Guest: Dr. Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar

Special Release Episode: Resiliency in Crime Scene Investigators

In this special release episode of Just Science, we sat down with Ashley Church and Erin West, founders of Gap Science, to discuss stress and resiliency in crime scene investigators. Traumatic death investigation can have adverse, long-term effects on crime scene analysts.  As Ashley Church and Erin West moved through their respective careers, they noticed a lack of training around protecting the psychological well-being of forensic scientists. Gap Forensics is working to fill this void in knowledge and address the challenges that investigators are experiencing every day. Listen along as our guests discuss compassion fatiguethe supervisor’s role in protecting their people, and the impact of violent crime scenes on forensic scientists in this episode of Just Science.

Just Applied Leadership for Resiliency in CSIs
Release Date: May 25, 2020
Guests: Ashley Church and Erin West

Special Release Episode: COVID-19 & Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

This week on Just Science, we are publishing a special release episode in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Social distancing, shelter in place, and other responses to COVID-19 can create a stressful environment for survivors of sexual assault especially if they feel they cannot access resources or are physically unable to seek help. In addition, highly stressful situations that result from significant amounts of change, such as unemployment, disruption in ‘normal’ activities, and social isolation may increase the risk of domestic violence and sexual assault. In this podcast, we will discuss what services are available to survivors of sexual assault, including leveraging on-line platforms and modified strategies for first responders, rape crisis centers, and victim advocates. We will also discuss how we as a friend, family member, and community can be prepared to respond to a victim of sexual assault in this challenging time.

Just COVID-19: The Impact to Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault
Release Date: April 24, 2020
Guest: Marya Simmons

2020 NIJ R&D

Research and Development logo featuring a picture of marijuana plants, a skull buried in dirt, a shoeprint in yellow paint, and a strand of DNAThe 2020 NIJ R&D Season of Just Science features some of the research presented at the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium. Some of the interviews in this season were recorded at the 2020 AAFS 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, CA, a professional meeting where attendees work to advance science, foster research, and promote collaboration within the various forensic science disciplines. This season’s topics include the analysis of fentanyl compounds in emerging drugs, a tool for species identification of skeletal remains, methods for analyzing beverages for cannabinoids, the detection of firearm discharge via electrochemical sensors, and more. Tune in this spring to learn more about NIJ’s diverse research portfolio!

Just Another Method for Detecting Fentanyl
Release Date: March 19, 2020
Guest: Dr. Ling Wang

Just Skeletal Remains Identification
Release Date: March 27, 2020
Guest: Dr. Heather Garvin

Just Analyzing Beverages for Cannabinoids
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Guest: Dr. Carl Wolf

Just Quick Screening Methods for Firearm Discharge Residues
Release Date: April 10, 2020
Guest: Dr. Tatiana Trejos

Just Blowflies and Extreme Temperatures
Release Date: April 17, 2020
Guest: Dr. Travis Rusch

Just a Statistical Approach to Glass Evidence
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Guest: Dr. José Almirall

Just Mitochondrial DNA
Release Date: May 8, 2020
Guest: Kimberly Sturk-Andreaggi

Special Release Episode: HHRRC's Impact

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) seeks to promote humanitarian and human rights action in the field of forensic sciences. This effort would not be possible without the support provided by NIJ’s FTCoE and AAFS. The HHRRC improves the practice of forensic science and strengthens its impact on humanitarian and human rights issues through education and dissemination of best practices and guidelines. In this Just So You Know episode, Just Science sat down with Dr. Duarte Nuno Vieira and Dr. Cláudia Plens for a look at how NIJ’s support of the HHRRC aids their mission. Tune in as we gain a broader understanding of humanitarian forensic action and how the HHRRC impacts forensic research around the world.

Just So You Know: The HHRRC's Impact
Release Date: 
March 4, 2020
Guests: Dr. Duarte Nuno Vieira and Dr. Cláudia Plens

Improving the System

A gavel resting next to an open bookResearchers, academics, and forensic scientists are constantly striving to make improvements to existing processes within the criminal justice system. While many advancements have been made in recent years, there will always be room for growth and change. To begin 2020, Just Science will be meeting with leaders in the field to discuss the current state of the criminal justice system and the advancements they anticipate in the coming years. Listen along as we talk to representative from the National Institute of Justice, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Innocence Project about their efforts to support and improve the criminal justice system.

Just the NIJ Needs Assessment of Forensic Laboratories and Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices
Release Date: January 13, 2020
Guest: Dr. Jonathan McGrath

Just a Profile in Forensic R&D Innovations
Release Date: January 23, 2020
Guest: Gerry LaPorte

Just the Organization of Scientific Area Committees
Release Date: January 30, 2020
Guests: John Paul Jones and Mark Stolorow

Just the Innocence Project
Release Date: February 7, 2020
Guest: Sarah Chu


2019 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

DNA

DNA evidence has had a significant impact on the criminal justice system. Since the National Commission on the Future of DNA evidence in the 1990s, DNA has evolved into one of the most respected disciplines in forensic science. The DNA season of Just Science focuses on DNA evidence and its use in forensic investigation. Topics include the impact of DNA evidence, the use of familial DNA in investigations, databases, case studies, and strategies to improve workflow efficiencies.

Just DNA and the Post-Conviction Dynamic
Release Date: 
September 16, 2019
Guest: Chris Asplen

Just Genetic Variation
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Guest: Dr. Kenneth Kidd

Just Lean Six Sigma and Your Lab
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Guest: Julie Sikorsky

Just Investigative Genetic Genealogy
Release Date: October 10, 2019
Guest: Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter

Just the Golden State Killer
Release Date: October 16, 2019
Guest: Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter

Just Improving Workflow Efficiency
Release Date: October 24, 2019
Guests: Leslie Parke and Jamie Haas

Just USACIL and Direct-to-DNA
Release Date: October 31, 2019
Guest: Molly Hall

Just the Impact of Lawfully-Owed DNA Collection
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Guest: Jayann Sepich

Special Release Episode: Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners

The last Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners was conducted in 2004 and stands as one of the most important resources for budget makers and policy changers. Since then, the realm of MDI has changed dramatically. With that in mind, BJS and RTI International are working tirelessly to create a useful tool that captures all the nuances of this field. Listen in as our guests discuss the development of the survey, the types of data being collected, and the impact that the survey will have on the MDI community. Unchanged: The last Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners was conducted in 2004 and stands as one of the most important resources for budget makers and policy changers. Since then, the realm of MDI has changed dramatically. With that in mind, BJS and RTI International are working tirelessly to create a useful tool that captures all the nuances of this field. Listen in as our guests discuss the development of the survey, the types of data being collected, and the impact that the survey will have on the MDI community.

Just the Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners
Release Date:
August 26, 2019
Guests:
Dr. Hope Smiley-McDonald & Connor Brooks

 

2019 NIJ R&D

The 2019 NIJ R&D Season of Just Science will focus on the research featured at the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium. Some of these interviews were recorded at the 2019 AAFS 71st Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. This conference, held by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, is a multidisciplinary professional meeting that provides leadership and opportunities to advance science, foster research, and promote collaboration within the various forensic science disciplines. Some of the episode topics include research with alternative light sources and bruising, infant abuse, age estimations of bloodstains, image cloud platform use, raman microspectroscopy, and much more.

Just Skin Deep
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Guests: Dr. Katherine Scafide and Dr. Daniel Sheridan

Just Fundamental Mechanics and Infant Skull Fractures
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Guest: Dr. Brittany Coats

Just RNA and Bloodstains
Release Date: May 29, 2019
Guest: Dr. Robert W. Allen

Just Detecting Gunshot Residue
Release Date: June 6, 2019
Guest: Dr. Suzanne Bell

Just Screening Blood and Urine
Release Date: June 13, 2019
Guest: Dr. Rebecca Wagner

Just Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Guest: Dr. Jorn Yu

Just Putrid Databases
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Guest: Dr. Audris Mockus

 Just Raman Spectroscopy and GSR
Release Date: July 4, 2019
Guest: Dr. Igor Lednev

Just Flies and Their Artifacts
Release Date: July 12, 2019
Guest: Dr. David Rivers

Just Imaging Flow Cytometry
Release Date: July 22, 2019
Guest: Dr. Christopher Ehrhardt 

Special Release Episode: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a campaign designed to raise awareness about sexual violence and provide methods to prevent it. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Just Science interviewed Pat Speck, a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and professor at the University of Alabama – Birmingham School of Nursing, about sexual assault testing and victim-centered care.

Just the Evolution of Sexual Assault Evidence Collection
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Guest: Dr. Patricia M. Speck

Identification

The Identification season of Just Science will focus on many of the different aspects of identification in forensic investigations. A majority of these interviews were recorded at the 2018 International Forensic Educational Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This conference, held by the International Association for Identification, represents a diverse and knowledgeable membership that meets annually to educate and share techniques, methods, and research into the various forensic science disciplines. The conference features lectures, poster presentations, and workshops dedicated to sharing knowledge and enhancing the forensic sciences. This season will include episodes covering sexual assault kit processing, psychological survival in violent careers, latent print examination, forensic art, microanthropology, and more.

Just the Sole of Impression Pattern Evidence
Release Date: February 4, 2019
Guest:
Lesley Hammer

Just Drawing Knowledge from a Forensic Artist
Release Date: February 11, 2019
Guest:
Suzanne Birdwell

Just a Modified Direct to DNA Approach to Sexual Assault Kit Testing
Release Date:
February 18, 2019
Guest:
Caitlin Rogers

Just the Molalla Forest Serial Killer
Release Date:
February 25, 2019
Guest:
Robert Thompson

Identification: Just 19 Hours and 300 miles
Release Date: March 7, 2019
Guest:
Erin Sims

Identification: Just Improvised Explosive Devices
Release Date: March 14, 2019
Guest:
Hillary Daluz

Identification: Just Forensic Microanthropology
Release Date: March 18, 2019
Guest:
Carlos Gutierrez

Identification: Just Forensic Technician Vicarious Trauma
Release Date: March 25, 2019
Guest:
Selena McKay-Davis

Identification: Just the Double Loop Podcast Crossover
Release Date: April 1, 2019
Guests:
Eric Ray and Glenn Langenburg


2018 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

Forensic Advancement

The Forensic Advancement season of Just Science will focus on many areas that challenge forensic leadership within the community. A majority of these interviews were recorded at the 2018 American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) Annual Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. The ASCLD Symposium is an industry-leading conference designed for leaders and managers in the forensic laboratory space. The symposium boasts workshops and plenary talks designed around all aspects of forensic science, but particularly focuses on enhancing leadership and management in a forensic laboratory. This season will include episodes covering performance tools, ASCLD efforts in rapid DNA, return on investment for DNA databases, witness testimony, millennial personnel, laboratory public relations, and more.

Just the Soul of the Profession
Release Date:
November 5, 2018
Guests:
John Collins and Jay Henry

Just Cognitive Bias Awareness
Release Date:
November 12, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Cecilia Crouse

Just FORESIGHT on Sexual Assault Kits
Release Date:
November 19, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Paul Speaker

Just Psychological Resiliency
Release Date:
November 26, 2018
Guest:
Dr. David Christiansen

Just ASCLD Rapid DNA Committee
Release Date:
December 3, 2018
Guests: Katie Featherston, Brian Hoey, and Jeremy Triplett

Just Millennials
Release Date:
December 10, 2018
Guest:
Ben Swanholm

Just Throwing DARTs at the Opioid Crisis
Release Date:
December 17, 2018
Guest:
Amber Burns

Just a Paradigm Shift for Forensic Scientists
Release Date:
December 31, 2018
Guest:
Ron Smith

Just Transparency in Public Communications
Release Date:
January 7, 2019
Guest:
Ramit Plushnick Masti

Just Blind Proficiency Testing
Release Date:
January 14, 2019
Guest:
Dr. Peter Stout

Just Mass Casualty Events
Release Date:
January 21, 2019
Guest:
Richard Marx

Special Release Episode: AAFS HHRRC

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) seeks to promote humanitarian and human rights in the field of forensic sciences and the NIJ. The FTCoE will help to support key international agencies chosen by the HHRRC to improve the practice of forensic science and strengthen its impact on humanitarian and human rights issues through training and education and dissemination of best practices and guidelines. Some of the main focuses for the program are evidence preservation, training, research, and capacity building around the world. Research discussed in this Just So You Know episode includes looking at skeletal remains from the mass violence in Cambodia, develop the capacity of anthropology in Mexico, how nerve agents are incorporated into bones, and much more. Just Science interviews Dr. Douglas Ubelaker about the HHRRC’s efforts and his contributions to an in-brief about how the NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence aids their mission.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Just So You Know: AAFS Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Guest: Dr. Douglas Ubelaker

Medicolegal Death Investigation

Just Science's Medicolegal Death Investigation season will consist of episodes recorded with guests from the IAC&ME board. This season is to promote the ways in which IAC&ME supports, trains, and aids the community of coroners and pathologists. Episodes will include topics like vicarious trauma, work/life balance, wellness, forensic nurses as coroners, and understanding not only the logistical difficult of a mass shooting but the strain involved on the justice community.

Just Being Vocal About Vicarious Trauma
Release Date:
October 1, 2018
Guest:
Kelly Keyes

Just Coroners Versus Medical Examiner Systems
Release Date:
October 8, 2018
Guest:
John Fudenberg

Just Forensic Nurse Coroners
Release Date:
October 15, 2018
Guests:
Bobbi Jo O'Neal

Just Planning For The Aftermath Of A Mass Shooting
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Guest: John Fudenberg

2018 NIJ R&D

Just Science is releasing a season for the 2018 NIJ funded Research and Development. These guests were NIJ awardees that traveled to the annual AAFS Symposium this year in Seattle, Washington. Dive into the community's efforts to forward science and create a stronger justice system through knowledge. Some of the episode topics include research with skin microbiomes, SNP genotypes, implementing portable mass spec, and CT image databases.

Just Speak into the Microbe-phone
Release Date: August 6, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Bruce Budowle

Just Microhaps Perhaps
Release Date:
August 13, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Kenneth Kidd

Just Skin Microbiomes as Evidence
Release Date:
August 20, 2018
Guest:
Dr. David Carter

Just a Whole-Body CT Image Database
Release Date:
August 27, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Shamsi Berry

Just Portable Mass Spectrometer Possibilities
Release Date:
September 3, 2018
Guests:
Dr. Jamie Wieland and Dr. Christopher Mulligan

Just Genetic Marker Linkages
Release Date:
September 10, 2018
Guest: Dr. Michael "Doc" Edge

Drugs

JUST SCIENCE SEASON DRUGS

In this season, Drugs, topics will range from legalization of marijuana in relation to police officers, the opioid epidemic, Electronic Dance Music Festivals, how witnesses’ and victims’ memory of events can be affected by alcohol, current vaping research, drug courts, and much more.

Just Field Identification Drug Officer
Release Date:
April 23, 2018
Guest:
Nancy Crump

Just Drug Courts
Release Date:
April 30, 2018
Guest:
Preeti Menon

Just Electronic Dance Music Festivals
Release Date:
May 7, 2018
Guests: Amanda Mohr and Alex Krotulski

Just Liver Die
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Guest: Dr. Carl Wolf

Just Doobious Driving
Release Date:
May 21, 2018
Guests:
Jennifer Knudsen and Glenn Davis

Just The State of Pathology
Release Date:
May 29, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Randy Hanzlick

Just Alcohol and Witness Recall
Release Date:
June 4, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Nadja Schreiber Compo

Just Chasing the E-Cig Dragon
Release Date:
June 12, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Michelle Peace

Just Solving the Opioid Crisis
Release Date:
June 18, 2018
Guests:
Dr. Jeri Ropero Miller and Dr. Gary Zarkin

Just Fentanyl Lab Fads with ASCLD
Release Date:
June 25, 2018
Guest:
Bruce Houlihan

Just Classifying Emerging Compounds
Release Date:
July 2, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Barry Logan

Just Opioid Financial Burden on Crime Labs
Release Date:
July 11, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Paul Speaker

2018 Impression, Pattern, and Trace Evidence Symposium

In this season we will cover content given at the NIJ Forensic Technology Center of Excellence’s Impression Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium.  The symposium was held January 22nd -25th 2018 in Arlington, Virginia, it had over 200 onsite attendees and over 400 online attendees. This season will include episodes discussing nature's patterns, fracture mechanics, juror's interpretations of testimony, toolmarks, and footwear with each topic discussing real-world examples. If you missed the symposium and wish to watch the archives, please click here.

Just Nature's Patterns
Release Date:
February 7, 2018
Guest:
John Vanderkolk

Just Fracture Matches
Release Date:
February 12, 2018
Guest:
Dr. Ashraf Bastawros

Just A Juror’s Perception
Release Date:
February 19, 2018
Guests:
Dr. Alicia Wilcox and Heidi Eldridge

 Just Shoeprint Statistics
Release Date:
February 26, 2018
Guest:
Andrew Kimble

 Just Geeking Out on Patterns
Release Date:
March 5, 2018
Guest:
John Vanderkolk

Just Footwear Size Does Matter
Release Date:
March 12, 2018
Guests:
Chris Hamburg and Jeff Jagmin

Just Consecutively Manufactured Toolmarks
Release Date:
March 19, 2018
Guest:
Robert Thompson

Just Handwriting Statistics
Release Date:
March 26, 2018
Guest:
Cami Fuglsby

Just Bayesian Brawl
Release Date:
April 2, 2018
Guests:
Dr. Jose Almirall, Dr. Steven Lund, Dr. Hari Iyer, Dr. Cedric Neumann, Dr. Daniel Ramos, and Dr. Alex Biedermann

Just Talking Testimony
Release Date:
April 9, 2018
Guests:
Xiaoyu Alan Zheng, Henry Swofford, Mr. Chris Fabricant, Dr. Steven Lund, Dr. Hari Iyer, and Dr. Alicia Wilcox


2017 Seasons & Special Release Episodes

Leadership

In this special release season on Leadership, you will hear interviews highlighting different areas where guests have excelled, along with some of their lessons learned. The season will highlight forensic professionals and teachers of leadership including Ben Swanholm, Jody Wolf, Martina Bison-Huckaby, Jeremy Triplett, and Dr. John Morgan. We will discuss their personal philosophies on leadership, how they came to be leaders in their own lives, and what their affiliations have added to the conversation. Stay tuned as Just Science helps to shed light on the complex issues of leadership.

Just Servant Leadership
Release Date:
November 27, 2017
Guest:
Ben Swanholm

Just Strategic Leadership
Release Date:
December 4, 2017
Guest:
Jody Wolf

Just Motivational Leadership
Release Date:
December 11, 2017 
Guest:
Martina Bison-Huckaby

Just Guidance Leadership
Release Date:
December 18, 2017
Guest:
Jeremy Triplett

Just So You Know: Leadership Series
Release Date:
December 21, 2017
Guest: Dr. John Morgan

Special Release Episode: Rapid DNA Technology

Digital representation of DNA strandsIn this “Just So You Know” episode of Just Science, we discuss this year’s Rapid DNA forum with Chris Asplen, the Executive Director of the National Criminal Justice Association. The 3-day forum, hosted by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, was held in Alexandria, VA in August of 2017. This forum provided more than 130 attendees from the forensic DNA community an opportunity to be updated on commercially available Rapid DNA technologies, hear lessons learned from several early adopters spanning local law enforcement and federal agencies, and discuss moving forward as a community. As one of the many distinguished presenters from the forum, Chris discusses how Rapid DNA is moving forward slowly but surely saving jurisdictions time and money, and that getting the policy right is just as important as getting the technology right.

Just So You Know: Rapid DNA Technology
Release Date: November 20, 2017
Guest(s): Chris Asplen

Case Studies

In the second season, Case Studies, Just Science interviews the prosecutors, investigators, victims, and crime lab directors that were involved with high profile cases. This season will highlight cases that seemed unsolvable at the time, but with some new technologies and innovation, these criminals were brought to justice. Topics include Munchausen syndrome by proxy, Human Trafficking, Odontology, Atlanta Olympic Bombing, International cases, Louisiana Serial Killer, and many more!

Mel Hall – A Sexual Predator
Release Date:
September 4, 2017
Guests:
Chaz Easterly and Kim Davignon

A Child’s Injustice
Release Date:
September 11, 2017
Guest:
Andrew Greenfield

A Mother’s Tale – Part 1
Release Date:
September 18, 2017
Guest:
Mike Weber

A Mother’s Tale – Part 2
Release Date:
September 18, 2017
Guest:
Mike Weber

Atlanta Olympic Bombing
Release Date:
September 25, 2017
Guest:
John Collins

A Gruesome Murder in Mesa
Release Date:
October 2, 2017
Guest:
Kimberly Meza

From Teeth to Trafficking
Release Date:
October 9, 2017
Guest:
Dr. John Kenney

Two Murders, One Trace Fiber
Release Date:
October 16, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Jan De Kinder

 Derrick Todd Lee – Baton Rouge Serial Killer
Release Date:
October 23, 2017
Guest:
Ray Wickenheiser

 

2017 R&D Symposium

R&D Symposium

Just Science released a special season for NIJ funded Research and Development. Dive into the community's efforts to forward science and create a stronger justice system through knowledge. Episode topics include research with one-pot meth, bath salts, gunshot acoustics, and postmortem interval estimation.

Just One Pot Methamphetamine
Release Date:
July 10, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Jarrad Wagner

Just Bath Salts
Release Date:
July 17, 2017
Guest:
Lindsay Glicksberg

Just Postmortem Interval Estimation Research
Release Date:
July 24, 2017
Guests:
Dr. Jeffrey Wells and Dr. Lynn LaMotte 

Just Gunshot Acoustics Research
Release Date:
July 31, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Rob Maher

Numbers

The first season of “Just Science,” titled Numbers will give listeners content focusing on issues that forensic scientists are faced with, such as error data or proof of data. We will explore new technologies and systems that provide more efficient ways of delivering quantitative results, as well as the human factors that go into producing solid data.

Just Lab Management
Release Date:
May 1, 2017
Guest: Barry Fisher

Just Human Factors
Release Date:
May 1, 2017
Guests:
Dr. Tom Busey and Heidi Eldridge

Just 3D Optical Topography
Release Date:
May 8, 2017
Guests:
Dr. Ryan Lilien and Todd Weller

Just Subjective Probability
Release Date:
May 15, 2017 
Guests:
Dr. Christophe Champod and Dr. Tacha Hicks

Just DNA Mixture Interpretation
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Catherine Grgicak

Just Budgets
Release Date:
May 29, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Paul Speaker

Just Dry Bones
Release Date:
June 5, 2017
Guests:
Dr. Melissa Connor, Dr. Eriek Hansen, and Christiane Baigent

Just the Facts About Campus Sexual Assault
Release Date:
June 12, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Christopher Krebs

Just Blood Spatter
Release Date:
June 19, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Marc Smith 

Just Hairy Isotopes
Release Date:
June 26, 2017
Guest:
Dr. Gwyneth Gordon