Friday, December 16, 12-1.30 pm (PT)
in conversation with Alison Gerber
Blood, Powder, and Residue: How Crime Labs Translate Evidence into Proof*
*Read the chapters here
Beth Bechky is a professor at the University of California, Davis. Beth is interested in work practices, and studies how workers collaborate to solve problems, struggle to coordinate, and manage the challenges of technological change at the workplace. Her recent book, Blood, Powder, and Residue: How Crime Labs Translate Evidence into Proof (2021) shows how the work of forensic scientists is fraught with the tensions of serving justice—constantly having to anticipate the expectations of the world of law and the assumptions of the public—while also staying true to their scientific ideals. In previous projects she has learned how to sell Xerox equipment, locked up sets and made copies as a production assistant in the film industry, assembled semiconductor equipment in a clean room, and assisted technicians in a biotech lab.
Alison Gerber is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Lund University in Sweden. Gerber's research is focused on culture, science, and public life, with a special emphasis on new kinds of evidence: algorithmically generated images and emerging digital 3D methods for documentation, visualization, and analysis as they move between science and the law. From 2021-2025 Gerber is leading a project called Show & Tell: Scientific representation, algorithmically generated visualizations, and evidence across epistemic cultures, funded by the European Research Council.