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NIST Presentations at AAFS 2015 Point to the Future of Forensic Science

The future of forensic science was on display at last month's American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. 

Several NIST researchers and scientific program managers took part to represent how NIST is contributing to a future vision for forensic science.

This future vision includes improved confidence in forensic measurements, as well as new technologies, data and analytical methods for crime labs. NIST researchers have contributed to forensic science advances for more than a century. 

After the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, was published, NIST was tasked with helping to improve forensic science standards, data and measurement accuracy.

As part of its efforts to meet this charge, NIST developed the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) to support the development and promulgation of forensic science consensus documentary standards and guidelines, and to ensure that a sufficient scientific basis exists for each discipline.

Working with the Department of Justice, NIST unveiled the basic OSAC plan at the 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Seattle.

Since then it has appointed about 500 members to serve on the OSAC board, committees and subcommittees. This year, OSAC held its first public meetings during AAFS week in Orlando. See the OSAC meeting agenda on the NIST forensic science website.

Attendees as well as webcast viewers were the first to hear about the proposed priorities for standards and guidelines covering 24 forensic science disciplines. 

Those unable to watch or attend in person may see archived video and presentation files in the OSAC public document library.

In addition to the OSAC meetings, NIST contributed 25 scientific presentations to the 2015 AAFS meeting. Find a complete listing of NIST scientific presentations on the NIST forensic science website. 

NIST also ran an exhibit booth in the AAFS exhibit hall where attendees were able to learn about NIST Standard Reference Materials for crime laboratories, forensic science research in NIST laboratories and pick up copies of brochures about NIST forensic science efforts.

To stay up to date with OSAC and other NIST forensic science news, go to and sign up to receive NIST forensic science news alerts.

Released March 20, 2015, Updated March 11, 2019