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Law on DisplayThe Digital Transformation of Legal Persuasion and Judgment$
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Neal Feigenson and Christina Spiesel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814727584

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814727584.001.0001

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Picturing Scientific Evidence

Picturing Scientific Evidence

Chapter:
(p.104) 4 Picturing Scientific Evidence
Source:
Law on Display
Author(s):

Neal Feigenson

Christina Spiesel

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814727584.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the use of scientific pictures as evidence in the courtroom. Scientific evidence has long been a part of trials, but today it is perhaps more important than ever, as the range of lawsuits demanding such evidence has expanded along with the breadth and depth of scientific knowledge. In many of these cases, scientific experts have themselves made and/or relied on pictures in forming the opinions they offer as witnesses in court. This chapter begins with a historical overview of pictures of scientific evidence in court before turning to a central issue for both science and law, or indeed any truth-seeking practice or discipline, in the digital age: how scientists, legal decision makers, and the public should decide when a picture is truthful enough to be relied upon in court testimony. It also considers the tension between how laypeople read a scientific picture and how scientific experts want them to read it.

Keywords:   scientific pictures, scientific evidence, scientific knowledge, scientific experts, witnesses, scientists, testimony

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