In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that was highly critical of forensic science. One of the academy's main concerns was that most forensic techniques are subjective. Dr. Madon and her colleagues, in conjunction with partnering agencies, are conducting a federally-funded research study that aims to quantify the validity of cartridge case comparisons under realistic, field-based conditions. The goal of this research is to underscore the point that subjectivity and invalidity are not synonymous. That is, even though the forensic analysis of fired cartridge cases relies on human judgment, it can still be a valid technique if the rate of accuracy is high under a variety of conditions that are present in the field.