Tag Archives: IAS2011

One week… still in IAS… but I’m whacked

It has been just over a week since my last blog, and it has been the craziest week of my life….


I have only just moved home.  They say its one of the most stressful things that you ever do… and I tend to agree; but at least now I am starting to see the fruits of my labour… and the labour of all my friends and family who have pitched in.

I now have a room resembling an office that I can now feel comfortable in for working from home.  Working from home, on the occasions that I am home, is a privilege and a great opportunity for “getting things done”; but it helps if you have the right environment to achieve that… and now I’m there.  I just hope that it doesn’t turn out like the scene in Brewsters Millions where at the moment he has everything the way he wanted, it all has to get taken back… so I am going to fight for my job within the NPIA until there is nothing left to fight for (work wise that is).

I’m a Scientist…. but don’t get me out of here yet!

I'm a Scientist logo


The competition has now entered its second week, which means….. EVICTIONS!!
The first took place today, and I am mighty relieved to still be standing… even if it is on a technicality, as Shane has withdrawn. 
Good luck to Shane for the future… and good luck to Craig, Anna and Sue who are all still in the competition with me…. although I hope to stay in as long as I possibly can, as it is a fantastic social experiment, an excellent learning resource for school children…. and incredibly exciting and addictive for the scientists.
The questions are amazing… even if a lot of them are a bit left field.  You can view the static questions here: http://forensicj11.imascientist.org.uk/questions; but unfortunately you won’t be able to see what is asked in the live chats… unless you accessed the site as they are “live”: http://imascientist.org.uk/live-chat
One of the schools that are taking part are from Saltash in Cornwall.  I told one of the students that I was on Google Street View in Saltash when I was holidaying there.  Just to prove it, I am the one in the blue t-shirt in the foreground…
Me in Fore Street, Saltash
Me in Fore Street, Saltash
Another wedding anniversary… and wifey still hasn’t dumped me.. Thats progress…
Well in fact… this is progress….
Take That... Cardiff
Take That... Cardiff
It has become an anniversary tradition that Take That tours near us on the week of our anniversary…. its very kind of them to organise it that way.
On our first anniversary they were performing at The City of Manchester Stadium,and they had only just got back together and were performing their first stadium gigs… so I pulled off the coup of the century and got the Take That boys (well all except for Howard) to sign an anniversary card for my wife, as it was our paper anniversary.  I haven’t yet reached those romantic heights in further years, but to get tickets to the concert is difficult enough… as you can see by the fact that we are sitting on the roof of The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The concert was fantastically staged as usual… but I don’t think lived up to The Circus Tour… don’t get me wrong, I thought it was excellent to get Robbie back in the band, but I thought the compromise of having him having a set whilst only paying lip service to some of Take Thats back catalogue was a little disappointing.
Myself and wifey were then able to dump kiddies on the in-laws on Saturday night to go out for a meal… if anyone is interested, we ate at http://www.fox-and-hounds-inn-llanhari.co.uk/.  The place is under new management, who are very friendly and eager to please.  The food was of good quality and reasonably priced.
We then tried out one of our local pubs who had an Elvis impersonator on… not quite Take That… very cheesy… but a good night.

I had a very nice fathers day… and considering there will be no further additions to my brood, it was great to see all 5 of them in one day and at one time… the first time that has ever happened.

….And I have been working

I have been incredibly busy with work in the last week, discussing everything fingerprints, but mainly looking into fingerprint issues with the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which is making its way through parliament.

This Bill will have huge implications for fingerprint units in England and Wales, and we are trying to understand what they will be and look at ways to make it easier for forces to implement.

I visitedHarrogate last week and I am currently in a hotel room in Lichfield…

Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral

To make things a little more difficult, I have travelled on public transport so that I have been able to take part in the IAS Live Chats.

Travelling is an interesting and enjoyable part of the job, as I was able to take that lovely picture above… but we are about to trial new ways to conduct online meetings and reduce the need to stay away from home as often.  You have to love reducing bureaucracy!

Well thats all from me for now, but I hope to be telling you soon how well I have done in I’m a Scientist…

Forensics and Social Media

You know, you really don’t need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this. If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook. (The Social Network)

I finally got around to watching the movie “The Social Network” last week, and was very impressed with the film.

It emphasized to me the power of the internet to create connections, to link information and to promote ideas…. but it is also scary…

With Great Power comes Great Responsibility! (Spiderman)

I am aware that by having my own blog and profiles on other social networking sites it provides me with an opportunity to highlight people, places, things, organisations, events that have or are still having influence in my life… but, it also means that I am leaving myself open for others to challenge my views, correct my mistakes and criticise my beliefs.

I am fine with this, as long as it doesn’t have any adverse effects on my family or professional life.

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner! (Dirty Dancing)

I do believe that it is better to have a presence and a voice, than to hide away and allow the world to pass you by, and for other people to pass judgement on you without a form of redress.

This is why I promoted the use of Social Media to my bosses at Forensics21 in The NPIA.  As The NPIA already have twitter accounts @the_npia and the CEO Nick Gargan tweets as @ngargan_npia, I was already on a winner.

So my boss @joashworth agreed for myself and @j_purser to speak with the organisations Social Media Guru @nickkeane.

Following on from those discussions we have launched our Twitter Profile today:


Forensics within the NPIA also launched a new tool that shows how DNA has contributed to crime detection in force areas of England and Wales, and also gives visitors an indication of how many people from their locality are on the National DNA Database:


So using social media, The NPIA can now promote the great work the organisation carries out… promote the work of Forensics in Police Forces… and deliver a higher level of engagement and transparency.

I have also introduced facebook and twitter accounts for The Fingerprint Society to again spread the word about ITS aims and objectives.

Now with my involvement in I’m a Scientist Get Me Out of Here…it has opened my eyes to a new level of enngagement… a new audience… a fun social networking experience!

What for the future??? Who knows!