Bryson Center for Judicial Science Education established

The UNC Department of Genetics and the National Courts and Sciences Institute (NCSI) have collaborated to establish the Bryson Center for Judicial Science Education 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 new scientific evidence.

The UNC Department of Genetics and the National Courts and Sciences Institute (NCSI) have collaborated to establish the Bryson Center for Judicial Science Education 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 Center 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 Center will coordinate the salient scientific and technical contributions of NCSU, Duke University, and other relevant institutions of higher and professional education in North Carolina.

Dr. James P. Evans (recently retired from the Departments of Genetics and Medicine) serves as the Chair of the center. In reflecting on the need for judicial science education, Dr. Evans said, “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.” Funds provided by Vaughn and Nancy Bryson have been used to support this new initiative.

The inaugural meeting of the newly established board for the Bryson Center took place in Chapel Hill on Tuesday, April 9 and was followed by a two-day technical workshop titled “Health Care Outcomes Research Evidence” featuring almost twenty speakers as well as roundtable discussions.