Valedictory Address from SETAC Europe’s Immediate Past President
Paolo Masoni, ENEA
On 15 May 2013, at the SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, after one year of service, I officially stepped down as SETAC Europe President.
Addressing the general assembly, I mentioned a few key words that, in my opinion, reflect what this experience meant to me: responsibilities and commitments, sharing, concerns and achievements and colleagues and friends.
First of all, being president involved the assumption of responsibilities. SETAC Europe is a large scientific association, and I felt all the responsibility of being its representative. Responsibilities require commitments, and I committed myself to dedicating time and effort to the Society, sometimes sacrificing free time.
However, I did not work alone. I shared this engagement with the SETAC Europe Executive Committee, Council and Office, and the SETAC World Council. During my year as president, we addressed many concerns, including the hiring of a new executive director after the retirement of Dave Arnold and the organization of meetings in a period of economic crisis, to name just a few. Nevertheless, we also shared many achievements, such as the appointment of Bart Bosveld as the new executive director, numerous successful meetings including the Berlin World Congress, two SESSS meetings, a Life Cycle Assessment Case Study Symposium and the Young Environmental Scientists meeting. We managed a well-established education program with Summer and Winter Schools, a new regional branch in the Arabian Gulf and excellent financial results, which were partly re-invested in member services for 2013.
None of these achievements would have been possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of countless colleagues. I cannot name them all as I’d probably miss someone. Many of these individuals are now personal friends. Sharing responsibilities, concerns and achievements, and spending both working hours and moments of relaxation together is the most efficient way to build relationships. These friendships are, from a personal perspective, the major result of my year as president.
Next year, I will continue to serve as immediate past president, leaving to Laurent Lagadic the high honor and responsibility of guiding and representing SETAC Europe. Let me wish him a successful year in strengthening SETAC as a Society of responsible scientists who want promote the progress of environmental sciences and contribute to informed policies.
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