PEALS Associates appointed to Chairs at Northumbria University

Tim Wilson and Robin Williams have both been appointed to Chairs at Northumbria University where they will join the Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, Professor Julie Mennell, in shaping the work of a new forensic science research centre.    

The idea for this centre stems from 2005 Report ‘Forensic Science on Trial’ by The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. This acknowledged that forensic science is a ‘vital instrument for the detection of crime and the administration of justice’1. The Committee also heard evidence that suggested a lack of awareness amongst many researchers, particularly in certain fields, of the relevance of their work to forensic applications. As a result of this, the Committee called for the ‘better management of the technology transfer process to facilitate the exploitation of academic research with potential for application to crime prevention and detection technologies’.   

The role of the new centre will be to help bridge this divide nationally and internationally. It will do so by ensuring policy makers, law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners, researchers and the public can gain a wider and more accurate understanding of the current role and future potential of science and technology in the investigation of crime and the administration of justice.   

During their time at PEALS Robin and Tim have been active in addressing the ethical issues that arise in this sphere. We are sure that this will continue and look forward to the opportunities created by their joint affiliation for greater collaboration between the two universities in this city.   

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1 “Forensic Science on Trial”, House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2004/5, The Stationery Office, March 2005.

published on: 11th May 2009