Bracketing off population does not advance ethical reflection on EVCs: A reply to Kayser and Schneider

M'charek, Amade, Toom, Victor and Prainsack, Barbara (2012) Bracketing off population does not advance ethical reflection on EVCs: A reply to Kayser and Schneider. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 6 (1). e16-e17. ISSN 1872-4973

M'charek_Toom_Prainsack_2012_-_Discussion_on_Externally_visible_characteristics.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (90kB) | Preview
Official URL:


In a recent contribution to this journal, Kayser and Schneider reviewed the relevance of external visible characteristics (EVCs) for criminal investigation [1]. Their aim was to broaden the debate about the scientific, legal, and ethical dimensions of the use of EVCs for criminal investigation, which will help to achieve a firm legal basis for the application of EVCs eventually. While we applaud Kayser's and Schneider's overall very thoughtful and nuanced discussion of this topic, we were surprised to read that they suggest that a discussion of ‘the challenges of using problematic definitions of populations […] has to be kept separate from using EVCs’ (p. 158). In contrast to these authors, we contend that questions about defining populations – both at the level of scientific research, and the application of EVCs in criminal investigation – lie at the core of most social, ethical, and legal issues raised by the translation of EVCs into forensic and police practices

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Forensic genetics, ethical legal and social implications (ELSI)
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 16:44
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics