Message from our Chair
We live in an era in which science and technology have profound impacts on every facet of our lives. From advances in medical care, the rise of “big data”, and genetically engineered crops to environmental controversies, forensic science, and new abilities to edit genomes (of both animals and humans), scientific issues are everywhere. Yet, many of our policy makers and leaders struggle with understanding the science that underpins so much of our daily lives and the principles that lie at the root of so many important issues facing society in general.
The goal of the Bryson Program for Judicial Science Education is to capacitate judges throughout the US with the knowledge they need to adjudicate the myriad, complex cases that increasingly come before them which hinge on scientific issues. Whether judges are deciding cases involving cancer causation in the medical-legal context or questions regarding genetically engineered crops or a host of other issues from climate science to big data, the US judiciary will benefit from having a firm grasp of basic scientific issues. We do not attempt to make scientists out of judges…rather, we seek to demystify science and teach basic principles so that judges will be able to navigate (and help juries navigate) the necessarily competing and contradictory expert-witness claims. We accomplish these goals through a diverse range of interactive didactic approaches and hands-on exercises, taught by world-experts in their fields who possess proven ability to effectively communicate with largely non-technical audiences. Finally, we seek to instill in judges an appreciation for the beauty of science so that they will be receptive – and eager – to learn new scientific issues as they inevitably encounter them in the future.
The goal of the Bryson Program for Judicial Science Education is to capacitate judges throughout the US with the knowledge they need to adjudicate the myriad, complex cases that increasingly come before them which hinge on scientific issues."
-James P Evans, Chair
Welcome to the Bryson Program
for Judicial Science Education
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In Collaboration with the National Courts and Sciences Institute located in Washington, DC, the Bryson Program for Judicial Science Education has been established as a reliable scientific source to provide valid translational education and research for American trial courts and appellate jurisdictions as they grapple with complex criminal and civil cases involving novel scientific evidence.
In addition to the broad-based expertise of the Department of Genetics, the Bryson Program for Judicial Science will enlist, orchestrate and bundle the resources of UNC science and technology departments, centers and institutes for evidence-based utilization by the American Court system.
The Bryson Program will coordinate the salient scientific and technical contributions of NCSU, Duke University, and other relevant institutions of higher and professional education in North Carolina.