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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Washington, DC 20001
Tel: 202 334-1713
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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF PROPOSALS FOR RESEARCH ON STATISTICAL METHODOLOGIES FOR ASSESSING VARIABLES IN EYEWITNESS PERFORMANCE
Eyewitness Performance ResearchRecognizing the importance of eyewitness identifications in courts of law and motivated by data showing that at least one erroneous eyewitness identification was associated with almost 75% of cases where defendants were later exonerated by DNA evidence, in 2013 the Laura and John Arnold Foundation asked the National Academy of Sciences to undertake an assessment of the scientific research on eyewitness identification and offer recommendations to improve eyewitness performance. The appointed committee issued its report, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification, in 2014.

In order to stimulate new and innovative research on statistical tools and the interrelationships between system and estimator variables, the Arnold Foundation in 2015 again called upon the National Academies. Review of Proposals for Research on Statistical Methodologies for Assessing Variables in Eyewitness Performance describes the development of the request for proposals, the processes followed by the committee as it evaluated the proposals, and the committee’s assessment of the scientific merit and research design of the proposals. 

Project Scope

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law and in collaboration with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications:

1) Developed text for a Request for Proposals (RFP) that addresses Recommendation #11 of the 2014 NRC report, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification, that called for additional research on system and estimator variables in eyewitness performance.  The committee developed criteria to be used in evaluating the scientific merit and research design of proposals submitted to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to further advance understanding of statistical tools appropriate for the validating the reliability of eyewitness performance.

2) Upon receipt of all proposals from the Arnold Foundation, the committee met to evaluate the proposals and ranked them based upon scientific merit and research design.
 

  Project Information  

PROJECT SCOPE
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
REPORTS
MEMBERS
SPONSORS

PROJECT STAFF

Anne-Marie Mazza, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Committee on Science, Technology, and Law
Phone: 202-334-2469
E-mail:
amazza@nas.edu

Scott Weidman, Ph.D.
Director, Board on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications
Phone: 202-334-1519
E-mail: sweidman@nas.edu

Steven Kendall, Ph.D.
Program Officer, Committee on Science, Technology, and Law
Phone: 202-334-1713
E-mail: skendall@nas.edu

Karolina Konarzewska
Program Coordinator, Committee on Science, Technology, and Law
Phone: 202-334-2455
E-mail: kkonarzewska@nas.edu


Meetings & Events

First Meeting
September 28, 2015
Washington, DC

Agenda

Second Meeting
July 23, 2016
Woods Hole, MA

Meeting closed in its entirety.

Reports

The committee's report, Review of Proposals for Research on Statistical Methodologies for Assessing Variables in Eyewitness Performance, was released on September 29, 2016. 

Members

Chair

David Banks
Professor of Statistics
Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences
Duke University

Members

Thomas D. Albright (NAS)
Professor and Director, Vision Center Laboratory and Conrad T. Prebys Chair in Vision Research
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Richard A. Berk
Professor of Criminology and Statistics
Department of Criminology and Department of Statistics
University of Pennsylvania

Scott McNamara
Oneida County District Attorney
Oneida County District Attorney's Office

Eugene Wong (NAE)
Professor Emeritus
University of California, Berkeley

Sandy L. Zabell
Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Northwestern University 

Sponsors

This project was sponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.