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Did You Know? – AAFS

Joann Wolwowicz

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Attention all forensic science students, this week’s “Did You Know” column is especially for you. Feb. 22-27, 2010 marked the days of the conference of the American Academy of Forensic Science’s 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting. Taking place in the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, a group of forensic science majors traveled last week to be a part of the convention. Being a forensic science major myself, attending this conference was one of the best decisions I could have made, giving me a gigantic leap into my career.

The Academy’s annual meeting is usually held in February, at which time over eight hundred scientific papers, breakfast seminars, workshops, and other special events are presented.

AAFS consists of eleven sections which represent a wide range of forensic specialties. The conference gathers these professionals who represent the more current information, research, and updates in the field of forensics and has them present their information to over six thousand attendees. The mission of the Academy is “to provide leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system.” The objectives include promoting education, fostering research, improving practice, and encouraging collaboration in the forensic sciences.

As the world’s most prestigious forensic science organization, the AAFS represents its membership to the public and serves as the focal point for public information concerning the forensic science profession. Founded in 1948, the AAFS is headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO. With over 6,000 members, the Academy includes physicians, attorneys, dentists, toxicologists, physical anthropologists, document examiners, psychiatrists, physicists, engineers, criminalists, educators, and others. They represent all fifty states, Canada, and sixty other countries worldwide. Every member actively practices forensic science and or teaches and conducts research in the field. Each section provides opportunities for professional development, personal contacts, awards, and recognition.

The Academy opens its membership every fall to anyone interested in applying. There is an application process and a waiting period as well as well as numerous qualifications that need to be filled for the particular section you are applying for. Completed applications must be received by October 1 and decisions are made only after the Annual Conference. Students can apply to be members as Student Affiliates of the Academy as well using a similar process. I would suggest all students to look into trying to attend next year’s conference that will be held Feb. 21-26, 2011 in Chicago, IL.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Did You Know? – AAFS