Welcome to the 3rd Annual Online Forensic Symposium. It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the first event in this year’s “Online Forensic Symposium – Current Trends in Forensic Toxicology.” The demand for information, continuing education and international cooperation has continued to increase, fueling the growth of this Symposium from a 3-day event in 2018 to a series of week-long events covering forensic toxicology, seized drugs, and trace analysis.
As the event has expanded, I have required more assistance in ensuring the exceptional quality of technical content that you have come to expect from the Symposium. Consequently, I am thrilled to have two outstanding Program Chairs – Prof. Simon Elliott & Prof. Nikolas Lemos, who have voluntarily dedicated their time and talents in developing this year’s program. I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done. Similarly, my heartfelt thanks go out to all of this year’s speakers who are volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the broader community.
Despite many innovations and increased knowledge within forensic toxicology, there are many challenges that persist. This could be accepted if they were not too important, however these challenges are in those areas still fundamental to the role and application of forensic toxicology such as analysis, interpretation (especially in fatalities) and court testimony. Advancements in analytical toxicology have enabled the detection of more substances with increasing sensitivity and in a variety of matrices, exemplified by the increasing use of accurate mass-spectrometry. Furthermore, on-going developments in physics and chemistry have already enhanced detection systems in other fields but could soon be applied to toxicology. Nevertheless, even with greater detection and accuracy, it is necessary to interpret analytical findings and as more and more factors are identified that can influence that interpretation, this results in more aspects to understand and consider.
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