Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


Forensic Identification: The State of the Science

Tue, March 5, 2024
Dinner Program
Simon A. Cole

Simon Cole, author of a book on the history of fingerprint identification, critic of claims about the "infallibility" of fingerprint evidence, and now a member of two bodies charged with writing standards for the fingerprint discipline, will talk about the scientific issues raised by forensic identification techniques, the progress that has been made in addressing those issues, current efforts to develop standards to regulate their use in the criminal legal system, and whether computers really will, or should, fix everything.

Simon A. Cole is a Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He specializes in the historical and sociological study of the interaction between science, technology, law, and criminal justice. He received his Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University, and he is the author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Harvard University Press, 2001). He is a Co-Investigator in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Excellence, the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE), and he is Director of the National Registry of Exonerations. He is Vice Chair of the Friction Ridge Consensus Body of the American Academy of Forensic Science Standards Board, and he is a member of the Friction Ridge Subcommittee of the NIST Forensics Organization of Science Area Committees (OSAC).

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
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