Donnerstag, 06. Juni 2013, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

LSG Invited Talk_Michael E. Lynch

Law, Science, and DNA Databases:

Guilt, Innocence, and Illusions of Certainty

Konferenzraum (A222), 2.Stock, NIG
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien


Weitere Termine

Abgesagt: Freitag, 07. Juni 2013, 13:30 - 15:30

ABSTRACT: Forensic DNA databases are well-established features of criminal justice systems worldwide. This talk focuses on two of the oldest and largest criminal databases: the National DNA Database in Great Britain, and the Combined DNA Index System managed by the US FBI. Based on long-term sociological research conducted in England and the USA, starting before both databases were established, the talk reviews the legal and technical rationales for expanding criminal DNA databases and facilitating the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigation. The concept of “biolegality” summarizes the reciprocal relationship between biometric evidence and the legal conditions and consequences of its use. The discussion critically examines the extraordinary degree of certainty ascribed to matching DNA evidence, and raises conceptual questions about the relationship of DNA evidence to guilt and innocence.

BIOGRAPHY: Michael Lynch is a professor in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. His research is on discourse, visual representation, and practical action in research laboratories, clinical settings, and legal tribunals. He received the 1995 Robert K. Merton Professional award from the Science, Knowledge and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association for his book Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action. His most recent book, Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting (with Simon Cole, Ruth McNally & Kathleen Jordan) examines the interplay between law and science in criminal cases involving DNA evidence. The book received the 2011 Distinguished Publication Award from the Ethnomethodology/Conversation Analysis section of the American Sociological Association. He was Editor of Social Studies of Science from 2002 until 2012, and he was President of the Society for Social Studies of Science in 2007-2009.


Forschungsplattform Life Science Governance


Melanie Werner
Forschungsplattform Life Science Governance
DW 22701