A research program on normative decision analyses in forensic science

Normative Decision Structures of Forensic Interpretation in the Legal Process (NORMDECS) is based on the understanding that the question of how scientific findings in forensic science are appropriately placed in a context of inference and decision represents a fundamental challenge that encompasses fields and notions that range from probability, logic and statistics (i.e., the sound analysis of reasoning under uncertainty; rather than the mere processing of data) to philosophy of science. Synergies among these areas are used in this research program for approaching the tasks of reasoning and decision-making in a normative perspective (Biedermann et al. 2014).

NORMDECS focuses on selecting and synthesising relevant methodological approaches –– that is graphical inference and decision-modelling techniques –– with the aim of working towards a common framework that can assist scientists in building firmer and more defensible grounds on which a meaningful, credible and trustworthy administration of scientific evidence can be based. On a large account, this project focuses on conceptual and fundamental research with, as an expected result, a collection of inference and decision network models that will have both, a conceptual significance and direct relevance for practical applications. This is based on the understanding that increased insight into conceptual issues is a prerequisite for improving inference and decision-making processes in practice.

Biedermann A., Taroni F., Aitken C.G.G. 2014, Liberties and constraints of the normative approach to evaluation and decision in forensic science : a discussion towards overcoming some common misconceptions, Law, Probability and Risk, 13, 181-191.