Scientists build their knowledge of the natural and social worlds by collecting large datasets and making inferences at the group or population level. Lawyers are largely concerned with how the natural and social worlds impact or might help to decide individual cases. Reasoning from group data to individual decision making (“G2i”) is a central and pervasive characteristic of the courtroom use of scientific research, yet the G2i issue has not been the subject of systematic study or analysis, by either the scientific or legal communities.
The G2i Research Project has created an interdisciplinary committee, composed of 13 nationally and internationally-recognized scholars from disciplines including law, neuroscience, psychology and statistics. Led by David Faigman, the Co-Director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy, this committee will study and make recommendations regarding a key issue – perhaps the key issue – where law and science meet: the challenge of translating scientific findings based on group data so that they can be used in an effective way to make legal determinations about individuals.
One piece of this research, led by David Faigman and Shayna Lewis, has been to examine the patterns and issues that arise in the current approach courts are using to make their way through G2i analyses. Join us as they discuss their forthcoming article on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.