Saturday, October 1, 2011

Scientific Evidence Manual

DNA identification, economic estimates of damages, psychiatric evidence of competence to stand trial, engineers' testimony about product defects—there's a lot of scientific testimony in today's courtrooms. How can judges—who are not statisticians, geneticists, economists, epidemiologists, engineers, or psychiatrists—intelligently manage this flood of information?

To address this challenge, the Federal Judicial Center and the National Research Council have published the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence. The first edition was in 1994, the second in 2000, and the third edition was released this week.

This book would be useful to anyone wanting an introduction to scientific evidence. Chapters include:

  • The Admissibility of Expert Testimony
  • How Science Works
  • Reference Guide on Forensic Identification Expertise
  • Reference Guide on DNA Identification Evidence
  • Reference Guide on Statistics
  • Reference Guide on Multiple Regression
  • Reference Guide on Survey Research
  • Reference Guide on Estimation of Economic Damages
  • Reference Guide on Exposure Science
  • Reference Guide on Epidemiology
  • Reference Guide on Toxicology
  • Reference Guide on Medical Testimony
  • Reference Guide on Neuroscience
  • Reference Guide on Mental Health Evidence
  • Reference Guide on Engineering
The book is available for free reading online; you can also download a PDF of any chapter or of the whole book. And the library will soon order it in paper.

See Science Manual for Judges Updated, Law Technology News, Sept. 29, 2011.

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