Photographs on Display at the US Embassy

US Ambassador Bleich has selected two of my photographs for display at the US Embassy in Canberra. The competition, “America Through Australian Eyes” received more than 180 submissions from across Australia and my photographs below, “The Great Dividing Range” and “Bushfire Glow,” were two of the eight selected.

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“The Great Dividing Range,” Central Park, New York, NY, f/8, 1/400 sec
MatthewBThompson-AmericaThroughAustralianEyes-USEmbassy-SanFran
“Bushfire Glow,” San Francisco, CA, f/6.3, 6 sec

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Presenting at the Experimental Psychology Conference 2013

The 40th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC) was held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide from 3-6 April 2013, and I presented with the rather drawn out title of: Expertise, memory, and non-analytic cognition in fingerprint matching: Experts can discriminate prints in noise, spaced in time, and in the blink of an eye. I was joined by fellow lab members Rachel SearstonRuben Laukkonen, Jason Tangen, who also presented.

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Police Workshop at UQ

The first practitioner-based UQ Forensic Reasoning Workshop was held at The University of Queensland on 25-26 March. We welcomed Bruce Comber from The Australian Federal Police, Duncan McCarthy from the Queensland Police Service, Sophia Arulappu from the Victoria Police, Cameron Forsyth from New South Wales Police, and Gary Edmond from UNSW Law. Me, Jason Tangen, Rachel Searston, and Ruben Laukkonen from the Expertise & Evidence Lab presented our latest research, and we spent two days devising future experiments on expertise, discussing various training and recruitment practices across the states, and developing a contemporary model of expert testimony. Click for more.

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Dinner at Parliament House

Fresh off a plane from the US, Jess and I travelled to Canberra for the Fulbright Dinner at Parliament House. We celebrated the 2013 Scholars and caught up with past US and Australian Fulbright recipients. Unfortunately, it was the day of the Labor leadership spill, so Prime Minister Gillard didn’t make it to dinner, but it was great to chat to US Ambassador Bleich again. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“The Fulbright Program was the first treaty between our nations, even before our ANZUS Alliance. And Fulbright’s spirit remains the bedrock of our relationship. We are bound by common values. In a world with billions of people, there will never be enough laws, or guns, or fences, or bombs to keep us secure. It is the social ties – the faith that other people value their lives and their children and want peace just as we do – on which humanity’s future rests. These things are not legislated – they are formed through what Fulbrighters do – the thousands of interactions and tender connections among people.”

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Finishing the Fulbright

I’ve finished my Fulbright year and it was incredible. I spent twelve months living in LA and researching at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Irvine. Jennifer Mnookin and Bill Thompson, my hosts, were incredibly generous with their time and support.

I presented at the UCLA Workshop on Law, Science & Evidence, the International Association for Identification Conference, and the European Academy of Forensic Science, and took out Best Presentation at the International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences, partied at the Australian Embassy and took Second Place in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest. I attended the NIJ Conference, met with Senator Rockefeller’s Staff on Capitol Hill, gave two talks at Harvard, and had two papers published and volunteered in New Orleans.

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