Sydney Ideas – Wrongful conviction and truth – 29 August

The Sydney Ideas Post Truth Initiative Series examines fake news, alternative facts, lies, bullshit, and propaganda, from a range of perspective–from the courtroom to cancer research, from philosophy to screenplays, from Orwell to Sean Spicer–with the goal to better understand the post-truth crisis, and to advise on how facts and reason might survive in this climate.

Tuesday 29 August – Wrongful Conviction and Truth

When does evidence obscure the truth? Join us for a forum on the avoidable causes of wrongful conviction  REGISTER HERE

Wrongful convictions can and do happen – it’s a sad fact of the Australian legal system. This panel will look at how evidence in legal proceedings can inadvertently support false conclusions if handled by non-experts (as is usually the case). Panel members are associate lecturer in psychology Celine van Golde, barrister and senior lecturer in law Miiko Kumar, both of the ‘Not Guilty’ project at the University of Sydney, and professional linguist Helen Fraser, of Forensic Phonetics Australia. They will present real-life cases in which errors, by eyewitnesses, police, prosecutors, and other experts led to people spent years in jail following unfair trials. With reference to their ongoing research on human perception and memory they then ask: what can we do to prevent future miscarriages of justice?

The Post Truth Initiative Series is presented by the Post Truth Initiative, a Sydney Research Excellence Initiative at the University of Sydney. The initiative brings together scholars of media and communications, government and international relations, physics, philosophy, linguistics, and medicine, and is affiliated with the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC), the Sydney Environment Institute and the Sydney Democracy Network.

Series Chair: Professor Nick Enfield, Professor of Linguistics.


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