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 David Senn’s Message:
Message from President David Senn
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving season it seems appropriate for the leadership of the ASFO to express our thankfulness to you, the members, for allowing us the honor of being stewards for your organization. So on behalf of the officers and board of governors, I sincerely thank you.
I am pleased to report that the Research & Grant Chairperson, Kathleen Kasper has informed us that she has received multiple applications. Two types of grants are available, one for new investigators and another for more experienced researchers. Detailed information is available on this website under the Research & Grants tab.
You will also find a new Newsletter on the website published in October. The newsletter contains a wealth of information including an interesting new Case of the Month provided by Peter Loomis, a thoughtful analysis of the Freeman-Pretty survey by Richard Fixott, comprehensive information on Forensic Dentistry in New York from John Demas, and an exploration of the Dentist’s role in Identifying Missing Persons and Disaster Victims by Lindsey Lewandowski. Also in the newsletter you can find an extensive listing of opportunities for education in forensic odontology and a stimulating analysis of the ASFO’s social media presence.
On a sad note there is also an obituary with information about the loss of one of forensic odontology’s founding fathers and longtime leader, Dr. Paul Stimson…a profound loss.
We are looking forward to our February 14, 2017 meeting in New Orleans. President-Elect and Program Chairman Eric Wilson has promised us an interesting Valentine’s Day program.
Again, I thank you for the honor of serving as your President.