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Genetic Suspects: Emerging Forensic Uses of Genomic Technologies - Workshop Report

October 2 – October 3 2008

Venue: ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, The University of Edinburgh

Organised by: ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum

Download the workshop report -  Genetic Suspects: Emerging Forensic Uses of Genomic Technologies (PDF 219 KB)


This was the third in the series of five workshops in the ESRC Genomics Network Genomics and Identity Politics Workshop Series 2008-2009.

DNA “fingerprinting” is now generally accepted as the gold standard of forensic identification, and is widely used for identifying suspects, as well as unknown victims of crime, accidents and natural disasters.  Meanwhile the use of genomic technologies for forensic purposes continues to develop rapidly.  

This workshop brought together social scientists studying the development and deployment of forensic DNA technologies, natural and medical scientists who develop and use and run such technologies, and administrators and policy makers concerned with their deployment and regulation.  The workshop examined how developments in forensic DNA technologies are precipitating change in the identification of suspects and the construction of suspect identities.  Participants consdiered how to maximize the benefits and minimize any harmful effects of such changes.  Discussion focussed, not on ethics in the abstract, but on the developing practices of forensic identification and how these might best be organised and regulated.,24164,en.t4.html