Genetic fingerprinting Alec Jeffreys FRS used to identify suspects from minuscule DNA traces at crime scenes

Genetic fingerprinting Alec Jeffreys FRS used to identify suspects from minuscule DNA traces at crime scenes

This week has seen Fellows and scientists meeting with leading members of the judiciary in the first of our Neuroscience and the Law seminars. The first seminar, focusing on memory within in evidence and testimony in court, took place on Monday.

Professor Ray Dolan FRS, a neuroscientist from UCL, outlined the science of memory, and Mr Justice Irwin, a high court judge, considered the legal challenges presented by memory within testimony. The audience of senior neuroscientists and judges shared their experiences and knowledge over dinner.

The seminar was followed, on Tuesday evening, by a lecture from Lord Neuberger, President of the UK Supreme Court. Lord Neuberger, who read Chemistry before becoming a barrister, discussed his relationship with science, along with the role of science within the UK’s legal system. A full transcript of the lecture is available on the Supreme Court’s website.

The Society is grateful for the support of The Dana Foundation for this programme, and further activities bringing together scientists and the judiciary are planned for next year.