NFI scientist appointed professor by special appointment in Criminalistics

On 1 November Dr C.E.H. (Charles) Berger was appointed professor by special appointment in Criminalistics at the Faculty of Law at Leiden University. Berger will combine the professorship with his work as principal scientist at the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) in The Hague.

Scientific programme

Dr Berger's appointment is an important step in the context of the NFI's scientific programme. In this programme, the NFI is continuously working to introduce the latest scientific insights and innovations into forensic case examinations and detection. This also involves intensive cooperation with partners in the forensic chain (including the Public Prosecution Service and the police), academic knowledge institutions and high-tech companies. This cooperation increases the availability of external knowledge, expertise and research capacity for forensic examinations. Professorships by special appointment are essential for cooperation with the best universities, and for the further development of an academic forensic research programme in the Netherlands.

Dr Berger's appointment adds strength to the partnership between Leiden University and the NFI. The joint research programme will focus mainly on criminalistics, scientific substantiation (objectification) and logical correct reporting of forensic examination findings. These are important strategic priorities for both the NFI and the international forensic community. In his work as professor by special appointment in Criminalistics, Dr Berger will also focus attention on the interpretation and use of forensic research in the context of detection and in court.

Curriculum Vitae

Charles Berger (1968) obtained his doctorate in physics at the University of Twente. He then gained experience abroad where, for six years, he was involved in projects at the Naval Research Labs, the universities of California and Bordeaux, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 2003 he joined the NFI, where he was trained as forensic document expert. As principal scientist he supports NFI researchers, advises the Board, and monitors the substantive scientific quality of the NFI.

Dr Berger is specialised in criminalistics, and primarily in the field of forensic interpretation and formation of conclusions. He has recently been focusing on research into logical correct reasoning and the objectification of forensic research. In doing so he links the worlds of social and legal science with that of practical police work. As professor he will make an important contribution to the Criminal Justice faculty research programme. Charles Berger is also a member of the Netherlands Register of Court Experts (‘College van het Nederlands Register Gerechtelijk Deskundigen’, NRGD).