Sydney Science Forum: Not Guilty

Not guilty: The psychology of crime investigations   

The science of how our brains work in a crime scene 
Wrongful convictions can and do happen – it's the unfortunate truth of the legal system. But it’s not just a legal matter; the science of how our brains work plays a big part too.

Event details
Date and time: Wednesday 18 September, 5:45pm–7pm
Venue: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, D17
Registration essential

Our brains can be tricked and draw the wrong conclusion in lots of situations, so when it comes to witnessing a crime, this can influence our recall memory in witness testimonials or our recognition memory in identifying suspects.

Discover how psychological and legal research is being brought together to seek justice for those wrongly convicted, in an innovative project called Not Guilty: the Sydney Exoneration Project.

Dr Celine van Golde, who leads the Not Guilty project, will show how her research on the reliability of witness and victim memory is uncovering the influential effects of factors such as interviewing techniques or characteristics of the crime event.


Dr Celine van Golde

Dr Celine van Golde is a lecturer in the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on the reliability of eyewitness memory in children and adults, both for one-off and repeated events. Specifically, she researches how interviewing techniques in forensic settings, such as those used by police, lawyers and judges, can affect memory accuracy.

She gives annual guest lectures within the NSW Police Force Detective Training Program, as well as advising judges and lawyers on issues related to eyewitness memory.

Professor Simon Rice

Professor Simon Rice is a Professor of Law in the University of Sydney Law School, and has been a practising solicitor for over 30 years. He has worked in commercial and community legal practice in both civil and criminal law, and was for many years a judicial member the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Event information

This event is free and open to all but online registration is essential.

Simply click the 'Register' button or follow this link.

Entry to ticket holders will be prioritised and given on a first in, best dressed basis until the room reaches capacity. If an event is full, this may result in standing room or delayed admittance until an appropriate time.

We recommend early arrival to allow time for finding the venue and securing a seat to the event. Doors open 15 minutes before the advertised start time. 

If you could not register but would like to attend, you are welcome to join a stand-by queue on the night as seats may become available due to late cancellations. Please note, this is not guaranteed so you come at risk of non-admittance.

This event takes place at Charles Perkins Centre Auditoriumwhich is below ground, with the entry opposite the main building entrance.

There will be directional signage on the day leading to the theatre. You may also refer to the map on this page. 

By bus

The closest stop is at Parramatta Road (before Ross Street). It is a 2 minute walk to the venue. Use the campus map to locate the bus stop. 

While there is some street parking available on Ross St, Arundel St and surrounding streets, there is no dedicated parking at this venue and spaces are limited so we suggest using public transport whenever possible.

Use the University Campus Maps tool to find out more details about parking and access areas: search D17 under 'Buildings' for the Charles Perkins Centre.

Getting there