SETAC Europe Executive Director's Corner
Berlin is just around the corner and all of us in the Brussels office are focusing on making this the biggest and best meeting yet. Roel Evens, our Scientific Project Manager, is working hard alongside Norbert Scholz, chair of the Scientific Committee to try to meet everyone's needs as a platform or poster presenter, and Henner Hollert is doing a great job as chair of the local organising committee, coordinating the non-scientific activities. It's worth dwelling a little on the enormity of the task we faced this year with 2,446 abstracts to review. We had many more requests for platform presentations than in the Seville meeting where we had 2,300 abstracts submitted. To try to accommodate more platforms, we increased our parallel sessions from 9 to 10. On top of this we had many more submissions for Special Sessions than we could accommodate.
The distribution of abstracts between platforms and posters is similar to previous years with the number of platforms governed by the number of rooms and time slots in a day. At the World Congress we have a 57% acceptance rate for platforms (similar to the Seville meeting) and will have over 400 posters per day.
The World Congress itself promises to be outstanding. Our keynote speakers will address the issue of sustainability from different perspectives. The model Berlin Buddy Bears sent around the world to be signed by delegates at different SETAC events will be reunited at the opening ceremony. The social programme is extensive and there is unique opportunity to visit the German Environmental Agency in Dessau including a tour of the iconic Bauhaus of Art Deco fame.
Berlin is a lovely city with parks, canals, rivers and lakes, and there is much to see from a historic perspective. The food hall in the Kaufhaus des Westens is one of the most famous in the world and well worth a visit. So make a date for Berlin, and we hope to see you there.
I would like to thank the SETAC Europe committee chairs and committee members who are also working hard to produce our focused topic meetings: SETAC Europe Special Science Symposia (SESSS). By the time you read this we shall have held the 5th in the series, this time on ecosystem services. Please be sure to take a look at the summary article on the Ecosystem Services SESSS in this issue of the Globe. In October 2012, we will convene the 6th SESSS on endocrine disruption. Comments from delegates at all the symposia I have attended have been very positive.
Our SETAC Europe Summer School programme looks set to provide a number of attractive courses this year. In January we held a very successful winter training school, coordinated by Richard Handy at Plymouth University in the UK on nanoparticles in the environment. We had students from around the world who were very enthusiastic and complimentary about the course and the organisation. You can find out more about that course by reading Richard's article from the February Globe.
Lastly, I have to announce that I am retiring from my position as SETAC Europe Executive Director at the end of June this year. While I have really enjoyed the challenge of the job and working with some very dedicated and talented people, it is time to turn my energies to being a grandfather. I hope that SETAC Europe continues to grow and to enjoy success as part of the wider SETAC family.
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