The coming paradigm shift in forensic identification science

Science. 2005 Aug 5;309(5736):892-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1111565.


Converging legal and scientific forces are pushing the traditional forensic identification sciences toward fundamental change. The assumption of discernible uniqueness that resides at the core of these fields is weakened by evidence of errors in proficiency testing and in actual cases. Changes in the law pertaining to the admissibility of expert evidence in court, together with the emergence of DNA typing as a model for a scientifically defensible approach to questions of shared identity, are driving the older forensic sciences toward a new scientific paradigm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA / classification
  • Expert Testimony
  • Forecasting
  • Forensic Sciences / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Forensic Sciences / trends*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • DNA