Chapter

Bayesians, Frequentists, and the Dna Database Search Controversy

in Truth Machine

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780226498065
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226498089 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226498089.003.0009
Bayesians, Frequentists, and the Dna Database Search Controversy

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This chapter, which discusses the controversy among statisticians in the United States over the analysis of DNA database “cold hits,” considers the defense use of Bayesian analysis to unpack and neutralize the impressive random match probabilities presented by the prosecution's experts. It suggests that Bayesian treatments can potentially open up a creative repackaging of evidence that disrupts settled legal and vernacular distinctions between expert and commonsense knowledge.

Keywords: DNA database; cold hits; United States; Bayesian analysis; random match probabilities; expert knowledge

Chapter.  2709 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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