Conclusion

Law and forensic science are complementary professions with different functions and goals. Practicing science within the adversary system can be difficult due to the pressures placed on the scientist by the lawyer. It is important for the scientist to remember that, although their goal of providing the truth is the same in the laboratory or in the courtroom, the lawyers’ job in the courtroom is to use the information provided by the scientist to advocate for the client. Scientists must maintain control of their results so as to avoid speaking beyond their expertise or beyond the scope of what information was provided by the evidence. Understanding the difference between the professional cultures will serve both sides in having a more positive, productive experience when working through cases. Science, by nature, is openly communicative, unbiased, and truth seeking, which differs from the judicial system.

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