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NIST Special Programs Office Wins AAFS Ambassador of Forensic Science Award

The entrance sign at NIST's Gaithersburg campus. Credit: J. Stoughton/NIST
The entrance sign at NIST's Gaithersburg campus. Credit: J. Stoughton/NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – Special Programs Office has announced they are the recipients of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Ambassador of Forensic Science Award.

According to a recent NIST article, the AAFS Board of Directors “unanimously voted to honor the Special Programs Office for advancing the recognition of forensic science in the pursuit of justice through public service.”

The forensic science program within the Special Programs Office works to promote equity in the criminal justice system by strengthening the scientific basis of forensic methods and practices so that evidence is appropriately collected, accurately analyzed and effectively communicated.

The Special Programs Office will receive a commemorative plate for the award on Feb. 23 during the AAFS annual conference in Seattle.

From the article:

The forensic science research program develops state-of-the-art measurement methods, tools, and data to advance the science and practice of forensic science with a focus on biometrics, digital evidence, drugs and toxins, firearms and toolmarks, forensic genetics, statistics, and trace evidence. NIST also funds a multi-university Center of Excellence, i.e. the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (or CSAFE), which concentrates on the application of statistics to pattern evidence.

Critical to SPO’s work is facilitating the development of technically sound standards and promoting their use through the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science. The program leverages the voluntary consensus process within OSAC and through active engagement with standards development organizations (SDOs) to accelerate the widespread adoption of advances in standards.

“This is indeed a great honor for NIST and SPO,” says Dr. S. Shyam Sunder, director of the Special Programs Office and NIST’s chief data officer. “The award is a recognition of the excellent efforts in advancing forensic science research and practice of not only SPO, but all of the participating NIST laboratories, including the Material Measurement Laboratory (MML), Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), Information Technology Laboratory (ITL), and Standards Coordination Office (SCO).”

Read the article in its entirety on the NIST website.