Justice Talks—Continuing the Discussion

Justice Talks

The Justice Talks series was introduced in the April 7, 2023, edition of the Academy Newsfeed. The first edition featured the NPR article written by AAFS members Katherine Scafide and Nancy Downing. You may click here to read the submission and find a link to the article. In this edition of Justice Talks, Drs. Scafide and Downing share their thoughts on the introduction of the Justice Talks series and the need for more inclusive research.

"We are thrilled to see the AAFS introduce the new Justice Talks series, with a focus on promoting justice through forensic science. It is essential to emphasize the need for equity in the field of forensic science, as marginalized communities are often disproportionately affected by issues related to justice and health care.

Our recent research mentioned in the NPR article highlights the difficulty in detecting injuries on survivors of interpersonal violence with diverse skin tones. The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 emphasized the need to "improve evidence collection methods for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including through funding technology that better detects bruising and injuries across skin tones" (S. 3623, 117th Cong., §101). More inclusive and interdisciplinary research, such as ours, is needed to develop tools to support medical forensic examinations using a racial equity lens.

We hope the Justice Talks series will continue to promote discussions and efforts towards health and racial equity in the forensic science community."
                                                                                              – Katherine Scafide and Nancy Downing

I share the hope of continued discussion. The Justice Talk series was created to provide a space for these discussions. As an organization, we now have an opportunity to share the efforts of promoting justice for all in the work performed daily. This series will continue to highlight the efforts of Academy members, but the hope is that this series will also address the lesser-discussed aspects of justice. We proudly promote justice for all as an organization, but unfortunately, on the societal level, justice is not always equal. Let's talk.


The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.