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Forensic Metrology

An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Metrology for Judges, Lawyers and Forensic Scientists

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  • © 2022


  • Clarifies the limits of validity of scientific evidence
  • Elucidates how legal decisions should be made in the presence of uncertainty
  • Includes a series of informative case studies

Part of the book series: Research for Development (REDE)

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About this book

This book offers up-to-date information and guidance on the application of metrology in legal proceedings, clarifying the limits of validity of scientific evidence and presenting an illuminating series of case studies in which measurement uncertainty has played an important role. The fundamental concepts of metrology are discussed, and it is explained how metrology is capable of quantifying the reliability of measurement results and thereby contributing to appropriate decision making. With the aid of the presented case studies, this book will assist readers in understanding how legal decisions should be made in the presence of uncertainty. Areas covered in those studies include breath alcohol concentration analysis, and DNA profiling. Nowadays, decisions in most legal cases are based on evidence obtained through scientific analysis involving the acquisition of accurate measurements. Against this background, Forensic Metrology will be of value for lawyers and judges in both civil and common law countries, as well as engineers and other scientists with an interest in the subject.

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Justice, Science and Their Methods

  2. Metrology and its Pillars

  3. Practical Cases

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

    Alessandro Ferrero, Veronica Scotti

About the authors

Alessandro Ferrero has been a full professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, since 1994. He chaired the Italian Association of Electrical and Electronic Measurements (GMEE) from 2004 to 2007 and served as President of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society for the 2008–2009 term. He was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement from 2012 to 2016. In 2006, he received the IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Technical Field Award in Instrumentation and Measurement, “For advancing the measurement of electrical quantities in electric power systems under non-sinusoidal conditions”. Since 2011 he has been Foreign Member of the Class of Technical Sciences of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. In 2014, he was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania. He has authored more than 250 papers in scientific journals and conferenceproceedings and is the author/editor of two books. He is an IEEE Fellow and a Fellow of the AAFS.
Veronica Scotti is a lawyer in Milan, Italy, and, since 2007, also a contract professor in the legal implications of engineer–professional liability at Politecnico di Milano. Her practice focuses on commercial contracts, energy provision contracts, construction and engineering, environment, and quality insurance. Her research interests are related to the analysis of the relationship between measurement activities and metrology and the regulation field, with particular regard to the legal implications of incorrect specification of measurement uncertainty. The results of her research activity have been published in more than 30 papers in journals and conference proceedings. She has been responsible for columns on legal metrology in the journal of the Italian Association of Electrical and Electronic Measurements (GMEE) and IEEE Instrumentation & MeasurementMagazine. She is a member of the AAFS.

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