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International Conference "Contemporary Challenges to Forensic Genetics in Society"

11/12/2018 - 11/14/2018
Escola de Direito, campus de Gualtar, Braga
International Conference "Contemporary Challenges to Forensic Genetics in Society"
School of Law, University of Minho | Braga, 12-14 November 2018

In the last few years, there has been an expansion of the possibilities offered by human identification provided by forensic genetics, based on the expansion of DNA databases for criminal and civil identification, and technological innovation building on forensic DNA phenotyping and forensic genetic massive parallel sequencing. Research in social studies and beyond has begun to explore the development and implementation of such emerging technologies; related societal, scientific, legal, and ethical controversies.One of the goals of the EU’s Horizon 2020 program is to expand and strengthen the role of forensic science with and for society, in particular regarding its applications in different domains: security and crime control, identification in humanitarian disasters, and in the criminal justice system. This three-day conference aims to bring together and put into dialogue professionals and academics working in these different fields.

A main objective of this conference is to engage society more broadly in research discourses and activities by providing discursive spaces for multi-perspective debates. This means in particular to explore good practices that might be applied in governance and policy-making founded on a respect for human rights, transparency and public trust.Panel topics are of interest to experts from different disciplinary backgrounds – from social sciences, over life sciences, to police and law studies and include: Current Challenges to Transnational DNA Data Exchange, Challenges to European Forensic Science, Forensics Genetics and Humanitarian Purposes, Privacy and Public Engagement, Emerging Technologies, Forensic Genetics and Racism. The final day is dedicated to shed light on the situation and discourses related to the Portuguese case and addresses topics such as Regulatory and Ethical Challenges of Forensic Genetics in Portugal, and Operations and Practices in Forensic DNA Database. The conference is organized by the EXCHANGE project, funded by the European Research Council. The conference participation is free of charge.

Confirmed speakers
- Álvaro Mendes, University of Porto, Portugal
- Ana Bento, Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Portugal
- Angel Carracedo, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain
- António Amorim, University of Porto, Portugal
- Carlos Farinha, Portuguese Police Scientific Laboratory, Portugal
- Carole McCartney, Northumbria University, UK
- Chris Lawless, Durham University, UK
- Cíntia Águas, Portuguese National Ethics Council for Life Sciences, Portugal
- Dana Wilson-Kovacs, University of Exeter, UK
- David Skinner, Anglia Ruskin University, UK
- Elisabeth Anstett, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
- Erin Murphy, New York University, USA
- Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, Durham University, UK
- Gabrielle Samuel, Kings College London, UK
- Georg Biekötter, Council of the European Union
- Helena Machado, University of Minho, Portugal
- Ingo Bastisch, Bundeskriminalamt, Germany
- Joelle Vailly, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France
- Kees van der Beek, Retired Custodian of the Dutch DNA database, The Netherlands
- Maria João Antunes, Supervisory Board of the Portuguese DNA Database, Portugal
- Matthias Wienroth, Newcastle University, UK
- Peter Schneider, University of Cologne, Germany
- Reinhard Schmid, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Austria
- Susanne Schultz, Gen-Ethisches Netzwerk, Germany
- Victor Toom, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
- Wojciech Branicki, Jagiellonian University, Poland