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The university as a source of expert testimony: a clash of cultures

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When scientists and engineers testify as expert witnesses they enter into an alien culture. They are concerned with establishing the truth by scientific or engineering analysis; lawyers are intent on winning cases or settling them on terms favourable to their clients. In this paper the MyersBriggs personality types of scientists, engineers and lawyers are analysed using published statistical data. For scientists the dominant process is either intuition or thinking, with about 75% having one or the other. About two-thirds of both engineers and lawyers are also either intuitives or thinkers. Thus, there is a potential for miscommunication when an intuitive scientist or engineer works with a thinking lawyer, or vice versa. The playing out of differences of objectives and personality types on a satanic murder case is presented and discussed.
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Keywords: CRIMINAL LITIGATION; EXPERT WITNESS; MURDER; SOCIETY; UNIVERSITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 1999

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