A number of articles written over the past two years have addressed the need to strengthen forensic science, not only in the United States but internationally. Most have focused on the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) February 2009 report entitled Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. In looking for solutions to problems we all know existed pre-2009, most point fingers instead of looking inward. Finally, after hundreds of pages of “we know how to solve this problem” monologues, a learned treatise appears that goes beyond the NAS Report in addressing the need to strengthen forensic science.
The Need for a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences by Jennifer Mnookin et al. is one of the first publications to minimize the blame game that has become so pervasive in evaluating forensic science. This article successfully provides a root cause assessment of the salient issues we face today and contains solutions that those who care about forensic science should consider.