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2020

2020 NIJ R&D

The 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!

 

Latest 2020 NIJ R&D Episodes

Access All 2020 NIJ R&D Episodes

Just So You Know: The 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.

IMPROVING THE SYSTEM

Researchers, 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 Innocence Project
Release Date: February 7th, 2020
Guest: Sarah Chu

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

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

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

2019

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Special Release: Just CMEC

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Forensic Advancement

Unchanged: 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.

 

 

2018

 

Special Release: Medicolegal Death Investigation


Just So You Know: FTCoE Team

Just Science is releasing a special Just So You Know series in celebration of National Forensic Science Week. Get to know the leadership, scientific, and technical staff that help keep the center running smoothly year round. Guests include Dr. John Morgan, Dr. Jeri Ropero-Miller, Donia Slack, Nicole Jones, Heidi Eldridge, Dr. Megan Grabenauer, Sarah Norsworthy, Nichole Bynum, Katherine Moore, Erica Fornaro, Molly Dix, and Dr. Kelle Barrick.

 


 

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.

 


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.

 


 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2017

 

Special Release: 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, and Jeremy Triplett. 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 So You Know: Leadership Series
Release Date: December 21, 2017

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


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

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

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

 


 

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


 


 

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.

 


Numbers

Unchanged:

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.