Valedictory Message from SETAC's President
Jane Staveley, SETAC President
As I end my term as SETAC President, I feel very fortunate to look back on 2010 as a great year for the Society. SETAC is healthy, with membership growth of almost 10% in these times of economic uncertainty. That is quite significant compared to other professional societies that have been struggling with static or declining membership. Most recently, the members of the Australasian Society for Ecotoxicology voted to become part of SETAC and we welcome them with open arms! Look for additional potential growth in Brazil, India, Russia, Japan, and Mexico as our outreach continues. This year we have added new Global Partners as well as supporters at regional levels, indicative of a strong commitment to SETAC’s goals.
I was able to attend the very successful meetings of three of our geographic units this year (in Seville, Guangzhou and Portland) and I continue to be impressed by the science and the enthusiasm evident at the meetings. We now have nine Advisory Groups at the global level providing a focal point for discussion and advancement of the science in various topics. We’re engaging in new areas such as human health risk assessment, global climate change, ecosystem services, and sustainability. For 2011, we have a number of workshops and special topic meetings planned.
We are continuing to look at working with other societies and organizations on mutually beneficial projects, and have developed guidance for evaluating these potential interactions. During this past year we also launched two webinars, the first steps in what I hope will be a productive “e-learning” strategy in spreading SETAC science. Both of our journals are doing quite well and it is particularly exciting to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of ET&C in 2011, even as we (reluctantly) prepare for Herb Ward’s retirement as Editor-in-Chief. I’m also very pleased about the launch of the Globe in its electronic form, and all the energy John Toll and the Globe staff are bringing to this publication.
In my opinion, these things happen as a result of three factors:
The first is committed volunteers—at every level, starting with regional chapters and branches. If you judged just one student presentation, you helped, and I thank you. Please continue to get involved—the more you put in to SETAC, the more you will get out of it. In particular I would like to thank my colleagues on the SETAC World Council and the chairs and members of the global committees, for their tireless efforts on your behalf this year.
The second factor is our devoted staff, and that is truly the right word for them. You probably don’t realize how hard they work “behind the scenes”—you just see their smiling faces and hear their helpful voices, and your need is met! They continue to amaze me with their responsiveness and dedication. I particularly want to express my personal thanks to Mike Mozur—our own Energizer Bunny—for all his innovative ideas and pushing SETAC to the next level as a society truly engaged on the global stage.
And the third factor is our unique SETAC culture. There really is not another professional scientific organization that has all the features we have, which makes our work all the more valuable.
Let me illustrate my last point by relating a recent experience, which reminded me very much of my first SETAC meeting 30 years ago. I had encouraged a younger colleague to present some of our work in Portland. This was his first SETAC meeting and he wasn’t sure what to expect. I observed him running around (literally—you know what I mean if you were in the Oregon Convention Center) to platform and poster presentations, visiting exhibits, networking, and just generally enjoying the meeting. But what struck me most was his exclamation at a late-night gathering, where he was engaged in animated conversation with SETAC-ers from all sectors, disciplines, geographies and ages: “Jane—you never told me THIS is what SETAC is about!” Yes, that is what it’s about….. a student getting the chance to ask experts questions about their research….. an industry scientist and a regulator discussing a poster over a beer…. people from all corners of the globe working together to kick off a new advisory group. You should all be very proud of the unique SETAC brand: balanced, multi-disciplinary, global, sound science with a good dose of fun thrown in!
In closing, I want to thank each and every person who has said “yes” to me this past year when I asked for help. Please do the same for incoming SETAC President Paul van den Brink, and please continue to advocate the SETAC brand!
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