What is, and what is not, science is not something studied in most law school classes. However, its essential knowledge for criminal defense lawyers.
Here is a question that has stumped many self-proclaimed experts: What is science?
I recall feeling shocked watching a government toxicologist who had tested my client’s blood struggle to answer this question. Seeing an “expert” unable to articulate what is basic scientific knowledge during a Daubert hearing is truly revealing.
However, this inability to answer the most basic question about the definition of science is a symptom of a larger problem. That is, determining what extent, if any, a given forensic opinion in a criminal case is based on actual science.
An important takeaway:
The above definition points out that science requires that knowledge must be generated through a “process.” Accordingly, the next question is what process?