[FEATURED NEWS] Kicking off TechXchange with renowned forensic scientist Dr Henry Lee

Renowned forensic scientist Dr Henry Lee may be based in the US but he has a good working relationship with HTX. Speaking at the inaugural TechXchange on “The State of Forensic Science in the US” via Zoom on January 20, he recalled how he attended the launch of HTX in 2019 in Singapore. 

“HTX is way ahead of the curve in Forensics because when it comes to the future of forensics, you guys already know about it,” he shared during the Zoom webinar. 

“The future [of Forensics] is going to be related to artificial intelligence and big data for the reconstruction of crime scenes,” he added. 

Known for his critical role in the investigation of the murder cases involving O.J. Simpson and the “Woodchipper” murderer, Dr Lee is the founder of the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven, Connecticut, USA. 


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Dr Henry C. Lee conducted an exclusive Zoom Webinar for HTX (Photo Credit: Dr Henry Lee)


“Dr Lee has been a close strategic partner of the Home Team for a good number of years, assisting the Police with several high-profile investigations,” said Dr Portia Loh, Acting Director, HTX Forensics Centre of Expertise (CoE). 

To foster knowledge sharing and dialogue, HTX launched TechXchange, a series of talks that are presented by leading scientists and experts.

“After kicking off TechXchange with such a distinguished personality, the other [sessions] will have a hard act to follow. We are looking at not only eminent authorities in their respective fields from other parts of the world, but also our very own experts from HTX,” she added. 

According to her, Dr Lee was willing to share his insights with HTX staff and colleagues from Home Team Departments (HTDs) given the strong friendship and working relationship built over the years. 


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Dr Lee shared photos of his visit to HTX in 2019 during his Zoom webinar


Some 170 HTX staff and colleagues from HTDs signed up for the webinar, eager to learn from the session. 

Dr Kennard Gan, HTX’s Senior Forensic Scientist was spurred by the session to consider the role of new technologies in the field of forensic science. “In the new age of artificial intelligence (AI), forensic scientists have a pivotal role in balancing the tasks assigned to automation and those that require human logic. At this moment, I’d be uncomfortable if I were to be prosecuted based on an AI’s interpretation,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Irene Ng, Senior Crime Scene Specialist, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said Dr Lee emphasized the importance of pattern evidence in crime scene investigation. This evidence includes blood pattern, paint chips and bite marks, etc., which serve as clues to the sequence of events and link suspects to a crime scene.

As such, Dr Lee stressed that this evidence is as important as identifying evidence such as DNA. 

“This reinforces the need for us as crime scene investigators to carry out careful scene processing and collection to maximise evidence recovery to provide strong and credible forensic analysis for investigations,” said Irene.