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Believing Doesn’t Make It So: Forensic Education and the Search for Truth

By Charles L. Scott


of Dr. Jonas Rappeport. The founders of AAPL emphasized that an important purpose of the organization was to advance knowledge in the area of psychiatry and the law. The science of forensic psychiatry has since been vigorously debated. In 2005, Congress enacted a statute authorizing the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study on the state of the forensic sciences in the United States. As a result of this legislation, a forensic science committee was formed, and the report, “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, ” was produced, emphasizing the need for research in the forensic disciplines, particularly those that rely on more subjective assessments. The committee also identified two important factors relevant to standards of evidence admissibility: the scientific methodology used and the impact of bias on the interpretation of data. In this article, I apply the NAS committee’s findings to the field of forensic psychiatry, with specific recommendations to assist educators in achieving more objective assessment methodologies, critical in forensic education and the search for truth

Year: 1968
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