American Academy of Forensic Sciences

The objectives of this Academy shall be to promote professionalism, integrity, and competency in the membership actions and associated activities; to promote education for and research in the forensic sciences; to encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards and advance the cause of the forensic sciences; to promote interdisciplinary communications; and to plan, organize and administer meetings, reports and other projects for the stimulation and advancement of these and related purposes.  - AAFS Bylaws, Preamble, Section 3 – Objectives

Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and technological practices to the
purposes of justice in the study and resolution of criminal, civil, and regulation issues.

– AAFS Board of Directors, 1993

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a multidisciplinary, professional membership organization that provides:

History of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences - 1948-1998


Since 1948, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) has served a distinguished and diverse membership. Its 6,600+ members represent all 50 United States and 71 other countries.  The membership is comprised of pathologists, attorneys, dentists, toxicologists, anthropologists, document examiners, digital evidence experts, psychiatrists, engineers, physicists, chemists, criminalists, educators, researchers, and others.  To better serve the members and their wide-range of forensic disciplines, the AAFS membership is structured by its eleven sections (disciplines).  Each section provides opportunities for professional development, personal contacts, committee participation, as well as awards and recognition.

Benefits of Membership include:

  • Discounted registration for newly-launched AAFS Connect - on-demand, digital access to AAFS workshops
  • Reduced registration rate for the AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting
  • Complimentary meeting registration for Student Affiliates in good standing, in exchange for meeting volunteer service
  • Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) digital subscription for full dues-paying members (Student Affiliates, Retired Members, and Retired Fellows may subscribe at a reduced rate of $45)
  • 30% discount on new and bestselling forensic science books from CRC Press (2020 dues year)
  • AAFS Newsfeed e-alerts
  • Opportunity to serve on Academy-wide and section committees
  • Opportunity to have a voice in AAFS bylaws, policies, decision-making, etc.
  • Opportunity to apply for grants, scholarships, and award funding
  • Opportunity to advance to a status (Retired Member/Retired Fellow) that includes complimentary annual dues (Retired Fellows also receive complimentary meeting registration)
  • Access to communicate with fellow forensic professionals in educational, private, research, and governmental fields around the world
  • Assistance in researching JFS archived articles

Membership Information


The AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting is held in February and offers 1,000+ scientific papers to include oral presentations, poster sessions, workshops, breakfast and luncheon seminars, and other special events. The meeting is structured to represent the wide range of forensic specialties within the eleven sections represented by its membership.  The annual scientific meeting gathers these professionals who present the most current information, research, and updates in this rapidly expanding field.  The annual meeting fosters inclusiveness and diversity for the attendees spanning 60+ countries through collaboration, networking, and the cross-pollination of knowledge within the multidisciplinary forensic community.  Attendance and presentations are encouraged from members and nonmembers alike.  Various types of continuing professional education credit are offered to registrants.

Other note-worthy meeting functions include:

  • Plenary Session (session geared toward the President’s meeting theme)
  • Academy-wide and section receptions to meet and network with other forensic professionals
  • Exhibit hall with 100-150 vendors
  • Academy-wide and section business meetings
  • Student Academy (session for local high school and college-age students)
  • Young Forensic Scientists Forum (networking session for new professionals)
  • Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) (session for educators/administrators interested in applying for university program accreditation)
  • Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Poster Session (session to learn about the application of forensic science to investigate humanitarian and human rights injustices)
  • Bring Your Own Slides (onsite opportunity to present interesting information/unusual case(s) that may be educational, entertaining, and blended with humor)
  • Employment Forum (opportunity for employers and applicants to meet)
  • University Fair (opportunity for FEPAC-accredited colleges/universities to promote their academic forensic science programs)
  • Community Outreach (offsite session open to local residents of all ages who have an interest in forensic science)

Future AAFS Annual Scientific Meetings - dates and locations

©2020 American Academy of Forensic Sciences