2nd Edition

Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science

By Robin T. Bowen Copyright 2018
    272 Pages
    by CRC Press

    272 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    While one would hope that forensic scientists, investigators, and experts are intrinsically ethical by nature, the reality is that these individuals have morality as varied as the general population. These professionals confront ethical dilemmas every day, some with clear-cut protocols and others that frequently have no definitive answers.

    Since the publication of the first edition of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science, the field of forensic science has continued to see its share of controversy. This runs the gamut of news stories from investigators, lab personnel, or even lab directors falsifying results, committing perjury, admitting to fraud, to overturned convictions, questions about bias, ethics, and what constitutes an "expert" on the witness stand.

    This fully updated edition tackles all these issues—including some specific instances and cases of unethical behavior—and addresses such salient issues as accreditation requirements, standardization of ethical codes, examiner certification, and standards for education and training.

    The new edition provides:

    • A new chapter on the "Ferguson Effect" faced by the criminal justice system

    • The context of forensic science ethics in relation to general scientific ethics, measurement uncertainty, and ethics in criminal justice

    • Ethical conundrums and real-world examples that forensic scientists confront every day

    • The ethics and conduct codes of 20 different forensic and scientific professional organizations

    • An outline of the National Academies of Science (NAS) recommendations and progress made on ethics in forensic science since the release of the NAS report

    Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science, Second Edition explores the range of ethical issues facing those who work in the forensic sciences—highlights the complicated nature of ethics and decision-making at the crime scene, in the lab, and in the courts. The book serves both as an essential resource for laboratories to train their employees and as an invaluable textbook for the growing number of courses on ethics in criminal justice and forensic science curricula.

    Accompanying PowerPoint® slides and an Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank are available to professors upon qualifying course adoption.

    Preface  1. What is Ethics?  2. An Ethical Approach to Forensic Professionalism  3. Ethics in Forensic Science  4. The Ethics of the Criminal Justice Culture  5. Changing the "Game" of Policing: Ethics and Efficacy in Police Reform and Forensic Investigations  6. Ethics in the Courtroom  7. Research Ethics in Science  8. Unethical Behavior: The Fork in the Road  9. Good Examples of Bad Behavior  10. Codes of Ethics  Bibliography  Appendix A. Additional U.S. Forensic Science Professional Codes of Ethics  Appendix B. U.S. Law Enforcement Professional Codes of Ethics  Appendix C. International Forensic Science Professional Codes of Ethics  Appendix D. When Ethics Are Used to Retaliate


    Robin Bowen has an undergraduate degree in Forensic and Investigative Sciences, a graduate degree in Secondary Science Education, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Instructional Design and Technology from West Virginia University. She is currently teaching a number of courses at the undergraduate level and is the minor coordinator in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science at West Virginia University. Bowen was formerly the Assistant Director for Forensic and Investigative Science Outreach, a program that developed research, scientific resources, and professional training for forensic scientists and related professionals. Her primary responsibilities included coordination of continuing education programs, management of research projects, and correspondence of progress to the National Institute of Justice. Ms. Bowen is the author of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science. She has participated as an advisory member of the Outreach and Communication Interagency Working Group (IWG) under the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee (NSTC) on Forensic Science and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Bowen was the primary developer of the Forensic Educational Alliance, an initiative to offer a variety of forensic science continuing education online courses.