I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say I will genuinely never think about forensic science or the role of science in policy in the same way again. After a year as a Specialist Adviser with the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee I learnt many lessons. Those lessons are changing the way that my group and our collaborators seek to foster dialogue and collaboration around key challenges in forensic science from a broad range of different disciplines, and in the way we develop our research methods, and create pathways to implement the results.
That time has also absolutely and fundamentally changed how I think about science and its role in society, it’s given me the opportunity to explore the idea that you can’t have science without the scientists themselves, and you can’t have challenges that need solutions without a consideration of the context those challenges are manifested. It’s highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the challenges that exist in meaningful ways that connect with different audiences. It’s renewed my conviction of the value of bringing positive steps to the table, and enabling the current and future generation of researchers to focus energy and passion to addressing the challenges we face now as well as anticipate those we’ll face in the future.
My reflections from this time have been published by the Royal Society which you can read here
The final report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into forensic science is available here.