Founded in 1970, the American Society of Forensic Odontology (ASFO) was established to promote interest and research in the field of forensic odontology. Prior to the formation of the ASFO, involvement in forensic odontology was limited to those dentists who were affiliated with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) or other law enforcement and scientific organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Credited as one of the founders of the ASFO, Colonel Robert Boyers of the AFIP recognized the need to provide an inclusive opportunity for education and advancement in the field for all interested individuals. In addition to Dr. Boyers (DC,US Army), early founding members also included Edward Comulada, Lowell Levine, Lester Luntz, Curtis Mertz, Paul Stimson, George Green, George Ward and Edward Woolridge
As membership in the ASFO began to grow in the 1970’s, the decision was made to meet annually in conjunction with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Sponsorship of the scientific session at the annual meeting provided the opportunity for newer, less experienced members to meet and interact with more experienced peers. Additionally, the joint meeting provided individuals from a variety of forensic disciplines a chance to become familiar with forensic odontology and the ASFO organization. Membership has continued to grow and now includes over 480 active members making it one of the largest worldwide organizations dedicated to this forensic discipline.
In 1980, Drs. Robert Siegel and Norman Sperber compiled the ASFO Forensic Odontology Workbook. Over the years, many Society members continued to contribute to this effort which led to the publishing of the ASFO Manual of Forensic Odontology. Currently in the fifth edition, this manual provides a general reference for forensic dentists and others studying the science. Current Society members also benefit from online continuing education, forensic course information, links and research grants.
With more than forty years of experience, the members of the American Society of Forensic Odontology continue to move forward in meeting its mission:
“The objective of this Society shall be to advance the cause of forensic dentistry and to develop and maintain the highest standards of practice. This shall be done via study, discussion, seminars, publications and liaison with other organized agencies.”
ASFO President Roger Metcalf’s Message:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the ASFO members and guests who attended the 45th Annual ASFO Program and Business Meeting on 17 Feb 2015 in Orlando, FL. The meeting was, I think, a great success and that is due primarily to the terrific speakers we had on the program. I extend my heartfelt “thanks” again to the speakers, especially our international friends who travelled far, for helping us to make this a very worthwhile undertaking. And, as usual, “kudos” to our Executive Director, Dr. Bruce Schrader, for making sure everything during the program and at ASFO headquarters runs very smoothly and efficiently.
It is my pleasure to welcome your new ASFO officers: Dr. David Senn as President-Elect and 2016 Program Chair, and Dr. Jackie Reid as Secretary. New BoG members this year are Drs. Marnie Sperling and Rich Weledniger. And we send our best wishes and “thanks” to those who have completed their terms: Dr. Dick Weems, Immediate Past-President, Dr. Cynthia Brzozowski, and BoG member Dr. Peter Marsh.
One highlight of the 2015 meeting was the announcement of the “Norman ‘Skip’ Sperber Award” for outstanding service to the discipline of forensic odontology and to the ASFO. This is an ad hoc award, not annual, and is awarded at the discretion of the BoG. ASFO members may nominate a current or former deserving ASFO member to the Membership Chair, Dr. Rich Weledniger, for consideration for this award.
Dr. Sperber was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting in person this year, and so we thank Drs. Janice Klim-Lemann (who, incidentally, suggested the idea of establishing this award), Rick Cardoza, and Greg Golden for graciously travelling to San Diego and making sure that Dr. Sperber received his awards (he also received ABFO Diplomate Emeritus status as well as the Dr. Reidar Sognnaes Award from AAFS), and they recorded presentation of the awards for us. Video of the presentation to Dr. Sperber will be posted on our website. Among his many noteworthy accomplishments, Dr. Sperber was a co-editor of the ASFO Forensic Odontology Workbook, the book that evolved into the well-regarded ASFO Manual of Forensic Odontology.
And, speaking of the ASFO Manual, I have appointed Drs. Bob Barsley and Adam Freeman as editors for a future 6th edition of our Manual, and I’m sure they will carry on with the superb job that Drs. David Senn and Dick Weems did with the 5th edition.
If you have interesting news related to odontology you would like posted on our website, please send your items to Amber Riley—if you have news you think should be in our Newsletter, please submit to Dr. Rich Weledniger. In any case, please submit news to either Amber or Rich—we’ll make sure it gets to the right place.
Keep in mind our next annual meeting—our 46th! The 2016 meeting will be on 23 Feb in Las Vegas, NV., and Dr. David Senn, as President-Elect, is Program Chair. Register today!!!