It is my great pleasure to welcome you to The Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law.
As a practicing forensic scientist for half a century, I have spent the majority of
my life seeking truth and social justice through the application of scientific methods
and legal principles to some of the world's greatest mysteries. Over that period of
time, I've watched forensic science undergo dramatic progress, most recently in the
areas of DNA testing and computer simulation. Unfortunately, too few professionals
are equipped with the knowledge necessary to unleash the promise of science in civil
and criminal legal matters.
What's more, the academic community has been slow and splintered in its response to the need to prepare a broader base of professionals for the study and implementation of this critical body of knowledge. As a result, the field of forensic science has reached a crucial juncture.
As educators, we can no longer ignore the need for the legal community to work in greater unity toward the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators of crime or of those who cause injuries to others, nor toward the exoneration of the wrongfully convicted. Forensic science has made a great impact on our pursuits in criminal and civil justice, but if we are to become more effective in our "search for the truth," we must inform and involve other professionals and their specialties as well.
The Wecht Institute was designed, in large part, to identify new methods and approaches for achieving civil and criminal justice. But more importantly, it is a program that brings together professionals from many disciplines who have demonstrated a particular interest in public service. It is a program that engenders in all of its participants an appreciation of the need to integrate our skills and understanding of this multidisciplinary approach to applying science to the law.
The application of forensic science in civil and criminal justice can have profound results. But if we are to fully harness the promise of forensic science in the administration of justice, professionals who have dedicated their lives to public and individual service must seek opportunities for continuing and extended education in this rapidly emerging body of work.
In these pages, we intend to bring you not only important information about the Institute's educational programs and public events, but also vital news and information from the wider world of forensic science. Whether you're a police officer or a nurse, a laboratory technician or an insurance investigator, you are certain to find much here to inform and enlighten you.
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
Chairman, Advisory Board