Speaker Series: Damien Schofield

The Thomson Reuters ISP Speaker Series is scheduled for this Friday, October 28, at 12:00 p.m. in Room 124 of Yale Law School.  This week, we will be joined by Dr. Damian Schofield, Director of Human Computer Interaction, SUNY - Oswego.  The title of his talk is " Why Doesn’t it Look Like it Does on Television? The Presentation of Forensic Evidence Using Digital Technologies.”

Why Doesn’t it Look Like it Does on Television? The Presentation of Forensic Evidence Using Digital Technologies

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Courtroom environments, which have been one of the last bastions of the oral tradition, are slowly morphing into cinematic display environments. The persuasive oral rhetoric of lawyers is increasingly being replaced by compelling visual media displays presenting a range of digital evidence in a convincing and credible manner.

There are a number of fundamental implications inherent in the shift from oral to visual mediation that need to be investigated and analyzed. At first glance, graphical reconstructions may be seen as potentially useful in many courtroom situations, and they are often treated like any other form of digital evidence regarding their admissibility. However, this specific form of digital media may warrant special care and attention due to its inherently persuasive nature, and the undue reliance that the viewer may place on the evidence presented through a visualisation medium.

This talk will give a range of examples of where evidence has been presented in courtrooms using video games technology (particularly forensic animation and virtual crime scene reconstructions). The talk will conclude with a discussion of the potential benefits and problems of implementing this technology in courtroom settings.


Dr. Schofield is currently Director of Human Computer Interaction at the State University of New York (SUNY). Dr. Schofield also remains a director and major shareholder of Aims Solutions Ltd., a UK based company created in 2000 to provide computer graphics visualization services and virtual reality based simulation training products to a wide range of public and private sector organizations.

Dr. Schofield has been involved in research examining the use of digital evidence in courtrooms, particularly virtual reconstructions, for many years. He is specifically interested in the representation and understanding of visual evidentiary information in the courtroom environment. Dr. Schofield has been used as an expert witness in courts all over the world and has worked on many high profile cases.