Interdisciplinary Symposium

The Symposium will provide a historic context for the formation of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, describe the impetus for its formation, and examine the effects of its members on forensic science.

  • Pre-Registration Required — $75

The Formation of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Tuesday, February 14, 2023. 1:15 PM – 5:15 PM. 3.5 CE Hours

Impact Statement

Attendees will learn about the state of forensic science before, during, and shortly after the formation of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences through the perspective of the six founding Sections: Criminalistics, Jurisprudence, Pathology/Biology, Psychiatry & Behavioral Science, Questioned Documents, and Immunology/Toxicology

Program Description

The 2023 Interdisciplinary Symposium will examine the post-WW II state of the forensic sciences leading to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences' formation in 1948 and that defined its early years. In 1948, there were six founding AAFS Sections: Criminalistics; Jurisprudence; Pathology/Biology; Psychiatry & Behavioral Science; Questioned Documents; and Immunology/Toxicology. Speakers from each of these Sections will discuss their Section's forensic concepts, research, and applications before, during, and shortly after the Academy's founding (roughly 1945 through 1965). How the Academy's formation and its members helped advance the forensic sciences during those early years will also be addressed.

We will examine how during this era life, law, and forensic science looked so much different than today. This retrospective view of the Academy's founding will help us understand the AAFS' continued efforts today to improve the trustworthiness of forensic science through objective data that can be relied upon by the judicial system, Congress, and the public.


Welcome and Introduction of Faculty | Paul Messner, JD

1:15 PM – 1:30 PM

Jurisprudence | Kenneth E. Melson, JD

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Criminalistics | Barry A.J. Fisher, MS, MBA

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Pathology/Biology | Christopher Milroy, MD

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM


3:00 PM – 3:15 PM 

Psychiatry & Behavioral Science | Corina Freitas, MD; G. David Annas, MD

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Questioned Documents | Carl R. McClary, MS

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Toxicology (formerly known as Immunology) | George W. Hime, MS

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM

Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers | Jessica Volz, DNP

4:45 PM – 5:15 PM

Paul Messner, JD

Dry Ridge, KY

Jessica Volz, DNP

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. Brunswick, MD.

G. David Annas, MD

Forensic Psychiatry Consulting, LLC. Syracuse, NY.

Carl R. McClary, MS

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Atlanta, GA.

Barry A.J. Fisher, MS, MBA

Indio, CA.

Kenneth E. Melson, JD

The George Washington University Law School. Kinsale, VA.

Corina Freitas, MD

Freitas and Associates. Alexandria, VA.

Christopher Milroy, MD

Eastern Ontario Regional Forensic Pathology Unit. Ottawa, ON CANADA.

George W. Hime, MS

Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department. Miami, FL.

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