For over a decade we have been fighting to have digitial forensics recognized as a science. Committees have been struck, organizations created and a great deal of blood sweat and tears has gone into having the American Academy of Forensic Sciences recognize us as a new section - Digital and Multimedia Sciences. We have also written numerous papers, conducted workshops and heavily marketed for the covetted recognition as a "SCIENCE".
What if we got it wrong? Can we really make a solid case for digital forensics being a science? The goal of science is the pursuit of knowledge. This is accomplished by using the scientific method or process. Theories are derived, hypotheses created and experiments designed to test these educated guesses. The interpretation of the findings are supposed to be value free and the results reproducable.
The goal of technology on the other hand is to meet the needs of some applied problem, focusing on some short term solution. The major processes include design, implementation, and testing. The deteremination of the success or failure is value ladden and reproducability of findings not necessarily criticial.
If we limit our discussion to the current state of digital forensics which category do we more easily fit into? It is really a no brainer - we are a technology that may at some point in the future move to a science, but we are not their yet.
The next important issue to contemplate is whether we actually have to become a science. Can we still serve our purpose and mandate (as well as the courts') by remaining a technology? Maybe we just have a case of Physics envy.