Starting – Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 from 11am ET – 1pm ET
Live Presentations will be EVERY Tuesday and Wednesday for 5 weeks.
Ending – Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 from 11am ET – 1pm ET


All forensic examinations depend on human expertise to produce valid and reliable results. Forensic scientists—like any other experts—are vulnerable to a wide range of human factors that may influence the value of their work. Many critics have challenged the scientific legitimacy of forensic practices, saying that the vulnerability of forensic experts to errors undermines the value of any results they report. Since the 2009 report of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers and other observers have increasingly called for policy and practice reforms that reflect the lessons of cognitive psychology, including mitigation strategies related to confirmation bias. In particular, defense attorneys expect forensic scientists to understand bias and other cognitive issues and be able to address the ways that they mitigate the potential for errors in their operations. Forensic science professionals have very limited access to resources that help them navigate these issues.

This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to the application of cognitive psychology to the improvement of forensic science policy and practice. The course will cover the basics of cognitive psychology, its relevance to forensic science, relevant research, and consensus guidance documents. Topics will include: Basic Principles of Cognitive Psychology; Expertise and Cognition; Communication; People and Organizations; Forensic Science Improvement; and Resiliency and Secondary Trauma. The course will emphasize critical thinking and root-cause-analysis in the examination of current practices, case errors, research, and policy recommendations. The course will emphasize positive steps that can be taken to incorporate cognitive psychology research into practice.

Students will attain a practical understanding of cognitive psychology as it relates to forensic science, a thorough understanding of relevant research and policy guidance, and a foundation for application in their work and the work of their organization. Issues will be covered primarily from the point of view of the United States, but international perspectives will also be represented. Students will be expected to have a working knowledge of forensic science, but no prior education or training in cognitive psychology is required. This is a 20-hour program. Sessions will include approximately 90 minutes of instructional material, real-world examples, interactive exercises, and time for classroom discussion.

Click the SCHEDULE button below to view the full Course Syllabus.

This is a 20-hour program. Sessions will include approximately 90 minutes of instructional material, real-world examples, interactive exercises, and time for classroom discussion.

Presenter Biography:

John S Morgan PhD, Research Scientist, Coptech Systems Inc.

Dr. John S. Morgan operates Coptech Systems, Inc., based in Raleigh, NC, providing specialty manufacturing and consulting related to forensic science, law enforcement, and security technologies. He brings decades of experience conducting and directing research programs across the federal government and private sector. Among other activities, he is conducting research into the causes of forensic science errors related to wrongful convictions as a research consultant for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

Dr. Morgan’s government positions include service as Command Science Advisor for the US Army Special Operations Command, Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Counter-Terrorism Technical Support Office, and Director of the Office of Science & Technology in the Department of Justice’s NIJ. While at NIJ, he received the Service to American medal for his work to expand the nation’s capacity to perform DNA analyses. He has also chaired the Interagency Council on Applied Homeland Security Technology.

Dr. Morgan directed the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International, serving as the Principal Investigator of the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence and co-Principal Investigator of the Criminal Justice Test and Evaluation Consortium, as well as the founding director of the National Forensic Science Academy. Prior to his government service, he conducted research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in defense against weapons of mass destruction, mass spectrometry systems, optoelectronics, and other materials science work.

Dr. Morgan served eight years in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Howard and Prince George’s Counties and serving on the Judiciary, Ethics, and Commerce and Government Matters Committees. He also served as the Congressional Science Fellow of the American Physical Society.

He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1990; his B.S. in Physics is from Loyola University in Maryland.




Individual Participants: $1,000 per person

5 Participants or More: $800 per person

Click the “Register Now” button to the right in order to register for this event.


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