Trace evidence can play a significant role in criminal investigations. Glass, paint, fire debris, gunshot residues, tapes, cosmetics, plastics, pollens, soils, hairs, and fibers are just a few examples of trace materials that could become interconnected in a crime scene, telling us a story about how the events occurred. The multidisciplinary nature of trace evidence brings complexity and challenges, but at the same time, it is in that very aspect where the opportunities and value of trace evidence prevails.
Technological advances in informatics, lasers, photography, microscopy, spectroscopy, spectrometry, and sampling devices, have evolved the way trace evidence can be utilized. Most importantly, the appropriate use of those developments depends on our most valuable asset: the individuals behind it. We ultimately rely on the expertise and decision-making abilities of the human element, from the discovery at the crime scene to the examination, to the interpretation and accurate presentation of evidence in the court.
During this Symposium, we invited you to recognize the value of professional collaborations. Start here, in this symposium, by participating not only in those sessions related to your current area of interest but to all of sessions to foster the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary debates. This event featured vivid discussions on the analysis and interpretation of cases and schemes to combine forensic evidence, such as cases involving cross-transfer of different trace evidence. This symposium enjoyed contributions from practitioners, industry, and academia in many areas of trace evidence, including glass, paint, hair, tape, fibers, and gunshot residues. Also, we exchanged ideas about the scientific evaluation of various trace evidence that may not be fully dependent. Perhaps, while listening to the experience of collaborative efforts among forensic scientists, researchers and statisticians, you will learn something that will change the way you approach your next case, investigation, research project, or future managerial decisions.
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