CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE ON CASUALTY RECORDING AND ESTIMATON - Civilized societies maintain orderly, accessible records of casualties, preserving the identity of those who have suffered in a respectful manner, and estimating their numbers as measures of social conditions and needs. During violent conflicts creating those records and estimates can be extraordinarily difficult and contentious, as rival parties seek to shape the records and conclusions drawn from them. Controversies include matters of principle (e.g., whom to treat as non-combatants in civil or guerilla wars); of cultural insensitivity (e.g., what matters to other people, in terms of what gets recorded, when, and how); and of science (e.g., defining socially constructed measures, extrapolating from constrained sampling procedures). In recent years, a science of human rights has begun to evolve, with contributions from multiple disciplines, involving scientists committed to serving practical needs related to individual records (e.g., compensation, justice) and estimates (e.g., understanding social tensions, assessing proportionality). This emerging science and the controversies surrounding it are not readily accessible to the practitioners who need it (e.g., human rights organizations, trust and reconciliation commissions, relief bodies) or even to scientists without all the requisite technical training. This international, interdisciplinary conference is intended to serve as a forum to evaluate alternative approaches to key topics, identify critical scientific issues, and communicate them to practitioners and scientists via publication of the conference proceedings and websites. Our proposed format seeks to elicit alternative views in a respectful setting, then communicate them to practitioners and analysts without technical training.