Dear IAI members. For my first President’s message in Identification News, I have decided to share key aspects of my acceptance speech that I presented at the Nashville conference this year. You could read it by adding a French accent in order to feel the original speech!
It is a great honor and a privilege to represent the members of this great organization as the newly elected 100th president of the IAI.
We must be proud of our history. It took boldness to build what has grown to be the largest forensic organization in the world. This boldness should inspire us. It was this boldness that drove our founding fathers to build from scratch this organization that is out to unite the forensic world. It is this boldness that drives our practitioners to do more for the sake of truth and justice. It is this boldness that drives our scientists to make more discoveries and develop innovation for the progress of our field. If I had to identify our opponent in terms of innovation and progress, it would be the fear. The fear of making mistakes, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. This fear is the opposite of boldness.
During my tenure as your president, I wish to strengthen the new generation of practitioners and scientists with the guidance and wisdom of the elders of the organization. To do this, we will have to show boldness, embrace the borderless philosophy of our younger generation and support international involvement within our large organization! For the elders of our organization, please continue to guide us, to support us, to lead us wisely.
One of my first priorities will be to introduce a new IAI award that will recognize young researchers in forensic identification and acknowledge the effort of those that try to integrate this remarkable field; bringing with them the seeds of innovation and progress. I will present a project to the board at the midyear meeting on this subject.
My second priority will be to put in place a special committee that will assess our IAI Divisions. We need ideas that promote communication, cooperation, engagement, and support among our many Divisions. The result of this committee’s brainstorming will be presented to the Board of Directors so that action can be guaranteed while building a stronger relationship between the parent-body and our Divisions.
Finally, I will utilize my mother-tongue, French, to get in touch with French-speaking non-members and present membership in order to promote our organization. We are lucky to have in the line of vice-presidencies, individuals who will be able to continue this effort on behalf of the international community, highlighting Aldo who speaks Italian, Mingo who speaks Spanish, and many other members who speak different languages, including John Grassel, who speaks the dialect of New England! Forensic science is evolving at breakneck speed. Boldness in our field is about facing reality and rolling up our sleeves, despite the colossal scale of the challenge before us. We have a huge opponent in front of us: fear. The fear of not being able, the fear of making mistakes, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. This feeling is human, but we must overcome it by opposing it with pride and boldness. This is what will guide your organization through the future! Should you ever have a question, need support, or if you would be interested in being involved with the IAI and you don’t know how…please do not be shy! Talk to me either in French or English and I will do whatever I can to help you.