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The failure of DNA forensic testing: a response to Hill

By Lyn Turney

Abstract

Hill's response to my paper is essentially a manifesto on the infallibility of science and the scientific method of inquiry and a defense of the right for it not to be questioned. My standpoint was that all processes during the 2009 Australian bushfire disaster should have been open to public scrutiny, including the forensic process. My paper was written from a public policy perspective and was based on a systematic analysis of information that was in the public domain. The “open and transparent” processes to which Hill referred severally were “Coronial Identification Boards” and the “Commission of Enquiry”. The former were private and internal processes that were not open to the general public. The latter public inquiry’s stated terms of reference included matters of causation, planning, preparation, management and emergency services responses, but did not investigate “the objectives and undertakings of the DVI process” as Hill implied. His main issue seems to be what he regards as my ignorance of the internal workings of the forensic process, and therefore the inappropriateness of my commentary. He also criticized my use of terminology, particularly in relation to Hilgartner’s (2007) model used for the analysis of public disasters. Furthermore, Hill interprets my paper as a criticism of the work he and his colleagues do. I will respond to these issues in the order in which they were made

Topics: Deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA, Editorial, Forensic processes, Forensic testing, 160808 Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1080/14636778.2011.617079
OAI identifier: oai:vtl.cc.swin.edu.au:swin:25252
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