UCL Department of Security and Crime Science


UCL forensic science wins prestigious PW Allen prize

15 November 2019

UCL forensic science wins prestigious Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences PW Allen prize for best research.

PW Allen Award certificate

Dr Nadine Smit, Prof Ruth Morgan (UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences and UCL Department of Security and Crime Science) and Prof Dave Lagnado (UCL Psychology)  have been awarded the prestigious PW Allen prize by the UK Chartered Society of the Forensic Sciences, for their paper ‘A systematic analysis of misleading evidence in unsafe rulings in England and Wales’ which addresses the misinterpretation of forensic science evidence in the Court of Appeal between 2010 and 2016. They demonstrated for the first time the scale of misinterpretation and that there is a ‘dark figure of misinterpreted evidence’. The PW Allen Award is the award made by the Chartered Society each year to the best research paper published in the Society’s Journal, which has demonstrated high quality science, novelty and impact.

Dr Nadine Smit received the award at the annual conference of the Society on 31st October 2019. Prof Ruth Morgan - Director of the Centre for the Forensic Sciences - is now the first author to have won this award three times (in 2006, 2016 and 2018) for research addressing forensic geoscience (2006), trace evidence dynamics (2016) and the interpretation of scientific evidence (2018). She said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive the PW Allen Award from the Chartered Society this year, and thrilled that our research, which has demonstrated for the first time the extent of the challenge that we face in the interpretation of forensic science evidence, has been recognised in this way. It is a particularly special honour for it to be the third time to have received this award and we are looking forward to continuing to address the critical challenges we face in forensic science at UCL with our collaborators.”