Alex Biedermann, associate professor, University of Lausanne
On the very first day that I started my university studies in forensic science I learned about the crucial need to cope with uncertainty in coherent and defensible ways, and that probability and statistics are unavoidable topics in this endeavour. The use of expert evidence, and data in general, has attracted my interest since then and was the reason why I decided to work on a PhD thesis in parallel to my first job as a scientific advisor within a department of the Swiss Confederation. This allowed me to gather first-hand experience with the intricacies of uncertainty management in governmental work and provided me with a constant flow of inspiration for my research. At that time, my research focused on probabilistic graphical models and the evaluation of forensic science evidence.
During my years as a postdoc and as part of my current areas of research, my interests have gradually shifted more towards the intersection between forensic science and the law, an area that raises issues in their own right, especially with respect to how coherent approaches to the assessment of uncertainty interface with decision-making processes.
I joined the RSS in 2013 because it is an organisation that uniquely promotes the topics “DATA / EVIDENCE / DECISIONS” on a world-leading level. RSS membership has given me the opportunity to connect and exchange with a specialised and highly committed community. Since 2017, I have been a member of the RSS Section Committee on Statistics and the Law. I greatly enjoy the involvement in this group through its works on topics that closely correspond to my core research interests.