Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting

Truth Machine: The Contentious History of DNA Fingerprinting


By (author) Michael Lynch, By (author) Simon Cole, By (author) Ruth McNally, By (author) Kathleen Jordan

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Paperback $24.27
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 232mm x 10mm | 703g
  • Publication date: 20 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226498069
  • ISBN 13: 9780226498065
  • Sales rank: 1,277,144

Product description

DNA profiling - commonly known as DNA fingerprinting - is often heralded as unassailable criminal evidence, a veritable "truth machine" that can overturn convictions based on eyewitness testimony, confessions, and other forms of forensic evidence. But DNA evidence is far from infallible. "Truth Machine" traces the controversial history of DNA fingerprinting by looking at court cases in the United States and United Kingdom beginning in the mid-1980s, when the practice was invented, and continuing until the present. Ultimately, "Truth Machine" presents compelling evidence of the obstacles and opportunities at the intersection of science, technology, sociology, and law.

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Author information

Michael Lynch is professor in the science and technology studies department at Cornell University. Simon A. Cole is the author of Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification. Ruth McNally is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics at Lancaster University. Kathleen Jordan has a PhD in sociology from Boston University and is currently a student at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Review quote

"I could not put it down. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of science." (Times Higher Education) "An interesting read.... It illustrates that the controversy of DNA profiling is rooted not in the science, but mainly in the restrictions of the adversarial system." (Nature)"