SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
11 September 2014
Volume 15 Issue 9
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It’s All About Trust

Greg Schiefer, SETAC North America Executive Director

I have just passed the significant, 20-year milestone of working for SETAC. It's amazing how time flies when you’re having fun and helping to facilitate impactful scientific discourses! I continue to be impressed and excited about how the Society operates in a globally tripartite fashion.  For many outside of SETAC it’s hard to imagine that scientists from academia, business and government can work together at all. The level of cooperation goes way beyond just getting along for SETAC members because we trust that the scientists from different sectors really want to ensure environmental quality through the best science we can bring to bear on the problems we face.

I also get to interact with managers of many other scientific societies and invariably, when the discussion is about internationalization and globalization, SETAC seems to be light years ahead of other groups. Again, I think it’s the level of trust we’ve achieved at a global level that makes all the difference. We aren’t simply trying to force fit a North American operation at a global level with hopes that everyone is happy with the outcome. We have created a true global structure where councils, committees and advisory groups trust each other to make decisions that represent the best interests of all SETAC members worldwide.

And now we have to prepare ourselves for a new era of trust. Access to big data resources will vastly change how science is conducted in the future but, for this future to arrive, SETAC scientists need to release their research data sets, in full, as part of their publications. An active discussion in the Publications Advisory Committee is about how to create the necessary data archives so this information can be easily accessed, but just as importantly, we need to have authors willing to release these data sets and trust that the benefits will come back to them through similar data sharing by others.

I look forward to seeing all 2,500 of my closest and most trusted friends in Vancouver!

Author's contact information: greg.schiefer@setac.org

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