Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Passalacqua, Nicholas, Marin Pilloud, and William R. Belcher. 2019. Scientific integrity in the forensic sciences: consumerism, conflicts of interest, and transparency. Science & Justice 59 (2019), pp. 573–579.


Copyright © 2019 The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


The goal of this paper is to discuss scientific integrity, consumerism, conflicts of interest, and transparency within the context of forensic science. Forensic scientists play crucial roles within the legal system and are constantly under various pressures when performing analytical work, generating reports based on their analyses, or testifying to the content of these reports. Maintaining the scientific integrity of these actions is paramount to supporting a functional legal system and the practice of good science. Our goal is to discuss the importance of scientific integrity as well as the factors it may compromise, so that forensic practitioners may be better equipped to recognize and avoid conflicts of interest when they arise. In this discussion we define terms, concepts, and professional relationships as well as present three case studies to contextualize these ideas.