Interdisciplinary Research in Law and Forensic Science: From 'silos' to systems.

Karen Richmond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Current approaches to the interdisciplinary co-production of forensic-scientific knowledge claims tend to found on the belief that a shared understanding of the respective capabilities, and needs, of both forensic science and criminal justice, may enhance the co-production of knowledge and lead to improved communication. However, the results of empirical research into the Streamlined Forensic Reporting (SFR) scheme, in England and Wales, appear to confound this 'contest and communication' narrative. SFR signals an almost complete co-option of scientific processes by the criminal justice system, the concomitant loss of interpretative forensic expertise, and the avoidance of the allocation of epistemic responsibility. Such instrumental approaches to forensic reporting may be traced to the disruption, and restructuring, of the forensic profession. Nonetheless, it is argued that the application of legal norms and rationality to forensic science may be better understood through the lens of legal autopoiesis, and should be viewed as an instance of the structural coupling of competing sub-systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings of the 17th STS Conference Graz 2018, 7th - 8th May 2018
EditorsGünter Getzinger
Place of PublicationGraz, Austria
PublisherTechnischen Universität Graz
Pages166 - 175
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783851256253
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2018
Event17th Annual STS Conference Graz 2018: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies - Graz, Austria
Duration: 7 May 20188 May 2018


Conference17th Annual STS Conference Graz 2018
Internet address


  • Law
  • Forensic Science
  • Autopoiesis
  • Evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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