Wecht Institute Seminar to Explore Impact of Bias on Criminal Investigations

Forensic scientists and law enforcement officers are widely considered to be more objective than most, having been professionally trained and sworn to draw conclusions based on facts. Yet, due to social and psychological factors that transcend both training and best intentions, honest mistakes are made that have life-altering effects on suspects, victims and society at large.

The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law will explore this critical issue at its next Forensic Fridays seminar, Mitigating the Impact of Bias on the Outcome of Forensic Investigations, on Friday, March 15, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. in the Union’s Africa Room. The seminar is open to the public and also is available online via a live videostream.

The seminar, which is designed to instill greater awareness and provide training in the management of implicit and cognitive biases, is primarily intended for forensic practitioners, police officers, criminal attorneys, psychologists, social workers and other academics working in this area.

Seminar speakers include:

  • Lavonnie Bickerstaff, assistant chief of police for the City of Pittsburgh’s Investigative Bureau
  • Maurita Bryant, assistant superintendent in the Allegheny County Police Department’s uniform division
  • Lyndsie Ferrara, teaching assistant professor of forensic science and law at Duquesne
  • Susan Goldberg, assistant professor of psychology at Duquesne
  • Geoff Kaufman, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

For more information, including agenda, continuing education credits, registration and cost, visit the seminar website, call 412.396.1330 or email wechtinstitute@duq.edu.