Cech named to new national science commission

Thomas Cech

Thomas Cech, distinguished professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been named by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to the newly created National Commission on Forensic Science.

The commission will work to improve the practice of forensic science by developing guidance and recommendations for the U.S. Attorney General on forensic specialties ranging from DNA analysis to firearms and toolmarks.

Members of the commission will work to improve the practice of forensic science by developing guidance concerning the intersections between forensic science and the criminal justice system.

The commission also will work to develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Attorney General, including uniform codes for professional responsibility and requirements for formal training and certification.

The commission is co-chaired by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick D. Gallagher. Nelson Santos, deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Forensic Sciences at the Drug Enforcement Administration, and John M. Butler, special assistant to the NIST director for forensic science, serve as vice-chairs.

The commission includes federal, state and local forensic science service providers; research scientists and academics; law enforcement officials; prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges; and other stakeholders from across the country. This breadth of experience and expertise reflects the many different entities that contribute to forensic science practice in the U.S. and will ensure these broad perspectives are represented on the commission and in its work.

January 2014

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