DUI & Criminal Defense

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DUI LIBRARY | Science

CHAPTER 1

Science Defined

KOPLOW LAW FIRM

Not Science

What is, and what is not, science is not something studied in most law school classes. However, it’s essential knowledge for criminal defense lawyers.

LET’S GO.

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. 

National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), is perhaps the most respetcted scientific authority in the world.  According to the NAS, science is:

The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.

The National Academy of Sciences Tweet

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?

Scientific Method

Chapter 2
The Scientific Method

The "process" that determines whether something is science or not is called the scientific method.

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