Key Note Speaker – Claude Roux

CSFS is pleased and honoured to welcome Claude Roux as our Keynote Speaker for the 2018 Conference.

His presentation is entitled ‘Will Forensic Science Reach the End of the Crossroads Soon?’


Professor Claude Roux | Centre for Forensic Science, University of Technology Sydney

After completing his undergraduate and PhD studies in forensic science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Claude Roux migrated to Australia in 1996. Claude has been pivotal to the development of forensic science in his adopted country over the past 21 years by developing and leading the first undergraduate degree and PhD program in forensic science. He currently is Professor of Forensic Science and Director of the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). His research activities cover a broad spectrum of forensic science, including trace evidence and chemical criminalistics, documents, fingerprints, forensic intelligence and the contribution of forensic science to policing and security. His professional motivation has been largely driven by his vision of forensic science as a distinctive academic and holistic research-based discipline.

Throughout his career, Claude has published more than 165 refereed papers and 26 book chapters and a large number of conference presentations. He has attracted $5.5M in competitive research grants in the last 10 years, including Australian Research Council, other Government and industry funding. He also received more than 20 prizes and awards including from the National Institute of Forensic Science, the 2004 AIPS Tall Poppy Award and the 2015 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Medal for Research Impact (inaugural award). He has a long and established reputation for effective collaboration with forensic and other government agencies in Australia and overseas, as well as with other academic partners.

Claude is a member of the editorial board of six scientific journals and of a number of working and advisory groups in Australia and overseas. He was President of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) from 2010 to 2016. He is the President of the International Association of Forensic Sciences for 2017-2020, the current Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court.

Join us at the CSFS 2018 Conference by registering here.

Precis of Presentation:

Will Forensic Science Reach the End of the Crossroads Soon?

Forensic science has been at the crossroads, not to say in crisis, for over a decade. The robustness of the scientific foundations of essentially all of the forensic science disciplines is being questioned on a regular basis. Further, the usefulness of forensic science continues to be questioned by evaluative studies focusing on the judicial contribution. While this situation is a fertile ground for academic studies and various debates, security problem-solving and the sound administration of justice cannot be put on hold until solutions pleasing everyone emerge. In all practical reality, forensic science must and will continue to be applied because it is simply the only reliable way to reconstruct the past through the exploitation of relics of criminal activities and by logical treatment of the collected information (as opposed to using less reliable information such as witness statements, for example).

In this presentation, it is argued that instead of focusing on error management and processes, we should question the very ontological nature of forensic science. Not only should the dominant conception of forensic sciences as a patchwork of disciplines assisting the criminal justice system be challenged, but the forensic science own fundamental principles should also be better enunciated and promoted so they can be more broadly accepted. This is by no means a small task but probably the only way to fully exploit the investigative, epidemiological, court and social functions of forensic science.

We ought to ask the question: will forensic science reach the end of the crossroads soon?