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Conceptualising, evaluating and communicating uncertainty in forensic science: Identifying commonly used tools through an interdisciplinary configurative review

Georgiou, N; Morgan, RM; French, JC; (2020) Conceptualising, evaluating and communicating uncertainty in forensic science: Identifying commonly used tools through an interdisciplinary configurative review. Science & Justice , 60 (4) pp. 313-336. 10.1016/j.scijus.2020.04.002. Green open access

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Abstract

This study provides a set of tools for conceptualising, evaluating and communicating uncertainty in forensic science. Given that the concept of uncertainty is one that transcends disciplinary boundaries, an interdisciplinary configurative review was carried out incorporating the disciplines of medicine, environmental science and economics, in order to identify common themes which could have valuable applications to the discipline of forensic science. Critical Interpretive Synthesis was used to develop sub-synthetic and synthetic constructs which interpreted and synthesised the underlying evidence and codes. This study provides three toolkits, one each for conceptualisation, evaluation and communication. The study identified an underlying theme concerning the obstacles that would need to be overcome for the effective application of these toolkits and achieving effective conceptualisation, evaluation and communication of uncertainty in forensic science to lay-stakeholders. These toolkits offer a starting point for developing the conversation for achieving greater transparency in the communication of uncertainty. They also have the potential to offer stakeholders enhanced understanding of the nuances and limitations of forensic science evidence and enable more transparent evaluation and scrutiny of the reliability, relevance and probative value of forensic materials in a crime reconstruction.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptualising, evaluating and communicating uncertainty in forensic science: Identifying commonly used tools through an interdisciplinary configurative review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2020.04.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2020.04.002
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Uncertainty conceptualisation, Uncertainty evaluation, Uncertainty communication, Forensic science, Interdisciplinary review, Critical interpretive synthesis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100752
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