Posted on 22 January 2024
The Forensic Speech Science (FSS) group within the Department of Language and Linguistic Science has been awarded £323,596 to build strands of commercial engagement, as part of the University’s Building Industrial Engagement and Impact initiative. The project (“Towards the growth of forensic speech science” ) will allow the FSS to take on forensic casework, providing evidence for legal casework, develop a suite of continuing professional development courses, and offer services to support forensic analysts with the requirements of forensic regulation. The project will involve an initial two-year period of funding to build the necessary infrastructure, after which it will become an entity in itself. The initiative is being led by Dr Jessica Wormald (Principal Investigator) and Dr Vincent Hughes (Co-Investigator).
FSS is the analysis of speech and audio in the context of legal casework. In the UK, it is estimated that there are around 600 cases per year involving speech and audio analysis. The landscape of FSS has changed in recent years, due to increasing regulation of forensic science and the decline in the number of practitioners in the UK. York is a world-leading research centre for FSS and has already demonstrated research impact through 4* REF Impact Case Studies in 2014 and 2021. The new investment from the University will allow the FSS group to grow the impact of its research, while responding to practical issues within the field.
“We’re really excited about being able to contribute towards forensic casework and training of people working within the field. This is a way to more directly link the world-leading research that we do with the real world application of forensic speech and audio analysis. It’s also a unique model within the UK of how academia and practice can be integrated for FSS and we can’t wait to get started.” - Dr Vincent Hughes