February was a nice month with the AAFS meeting http://www.aafs.org , where an effort is made to setup a Digital Evidence and Multimedia section by Carrie Whitcomb of http://www.ncfs.org . We hope that we can start this section next year, since there is lots of interest in forensic science to have such a seperate section. During this meeting I was nominated as chairperson of this new section.
As a chair of the union we had some work on the restructuring of the organization, to make it more efficient and effective. And there are some discussions going on on what kind of work we will do and what kind of work we stop doing, since we have to make some decisions according to the management.
Some casework, and I am still thinking of a report we have to finish. Furthermore we had some discussions in the lab on the certification requirements for face comparison reports. At the moment they are in a process of looking if this can be an actual field as such. Since I am certified for a period of two years instead of four for this field, for the NFI qualifications, I was looking deeper into this discussion. The problem is that the field is not validated and not many statistics are available. This issue is the same as in other fields, like audio, however also old fashioned fields as toolmark comparison also have the same. Our chief scientist said the issue here is that the standards are higher for person identification (such as voice comparison and face comparison) then for identification of objects.
I also decided to go ahead with the encyclopedia of forensic Science and the Engineering science and related sciences chapter. I had some valuable input and look forward to that.
Just some more work of course. Then there are interesting developments at several universities to setup a digital evidence section, which I warmly recommend.
Our projects are also running fine at the moment, and we have also several students working on them. Currently I am moderator of four students in different fields, and it is good to see how new ideas and thought develop.
At home I had installed a device for calling cheaper with VOIP. The device of Sipura works without PC on the regular phone (with Skype I have not seen these devices yet, since most solutions require that you phone must be switched on). With www.voipstunt.com and other services I can call many countries for nothing with a very good quality, which I was surprised of. I put away my old contract for VOIP via my ISP for that reason.
And of course some administrative work to do, and to finish. Such as filling in tax forms and solving administrative errors with double insurances etc.