SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
14 July 2016
Volume 17 Issue 7
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From Barcelona to Nantes – SETAC Europe Has Had a Busy, Productive Year

Gertie Arts, SETAC Europe Immediate Past President

Dear SETAC members, colleagues and friends,

For me, it was an honor to be the SETAC Europe President over the last year. I enjoyed the wonderful experience, filled with activities and interaction with interesting colleagues, conference calls and meetings. When I started as SETAC Europe President in Barcelona during the SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting, I had some goals in mind:

  • Promote the sustainable growth of SETAC Europe
  • Stimulate engagement with other disciplines and scientific societies
  • Stimulate actions at the level of the Student Advisory Council, at the level of advisory groups,
    within SETAC Europe and at the SETAC global level

Standing here now, one year later, I am very grateful to the SETAC Europe Council, which was so active and cooperative during this year. As a council, we worked hard to initiate, develop and improve guidance and to implement new policies within the SETAC organization. Here I will give some highlights achieved during the last year:

Implemented policies include working out two models for Special Science Symposia (so-called SESSS symposia). SETAC Europe intends to apply a more flexible way of organizing these meetings, which would make it possible to host at venues outside of Brussels, for example at other local universities.

The SETAC Europe Council intensively discussed the student voting rights. As a result students, being full members, can stand for election in the SETAC Europe Council. This is in full agreement with the SETAC Europe by-laws. The criteria to become a full member described in these by-laws needs to be explained in a transparent way, an action still being developed at the SETAC Europe level.

Some SETAC Europe Advisory Groups have been stimulated to revive their activities. Some of them are discussing the prospect of becoming a global advisory group, some of them intend to merge with existing global advisory groups. The name of these groups, acting as a platform and network for colleagues in a specific field of expertise, was thoroughly discussed. The SETAC Europe Council is of the opinion that the naming of these groups needs to be updated. Currently a survey is being conducted to ask your opinion on this matter! Please check your email for your unique survey link and take the time to respond and provide your perspective. The survey closes on Friday, 15 July.

The SETAC Europe Awards have been a topic of heavy debate at the SETAC Europe level. The Return to Science Grant has been revived, and we need you to submit suitable candidates for this award. The eligibility has been extended so men and women are both eligible. The SETAC Europe Council decided to limit the Best Publication Award (BPA) to papers published in SETAC journals only. In order to limit the BPA to SETAC journals only, we need you to submit your best papers to Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C) and Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM). I very much encourage you to do so. We were also especially invested in preparing nomination packages for SETAC Fellows from Europe. We were successful as six SETAC Fellows from Europe were awarded.

A big issue over the last year was the development of new guidance for SETAC Europe Committees. The aim of this change in how to establish the SETAC Europe Committees was to increase the number of members at large. Members at large are recruited from the SETAC Europe membership, so we need you to become active in SETAC. Explore the possibilities of becoming an active member, enlarge your networks and experience new collaborations! A call for committee nominations has gone out. Please consider responding to this request. 2016–2017 will be a year in transition. After this year, we will fully apply the new way of working to all of these committees.

Last year, the initial program for acquiring a Certification of Environmental Risk Assessor (CRA) was established. The program is in development and is still growing. The business plan and guidance were approved by the council in 2015. Further implementation is foreseen in 2016. The CRA Registration Committee was established as a standing committee of SETAC Europe. Rebecca Bundschuh was recruited as the SETAC Europe Education Project Manager, and she assists with office administration for CRA course and candidate registrations. The first risk assessors were certified in 2016!

The SETAC Europe Council has approved initiating efforts to collaborate with other scientific organizations for the SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting, which will take place from 7–11 May 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. We plan to connect and invest with other scientific societies in activities that will be mutually beneficial. The council financially supported the SETAC Europe Students Advisory Council. We are still discussing how to recognize non-financial contributors to SETAC, for example organizations which contribute by high numbers of scientists from their organization participating in SETAC meetings.

I enjoyed and am still enjoying being a member of the SETAC World Council. At the global level, we worked on new guidance for the composition of the Executive Committee and the SETAC World President. It was decided that the position of the SETAC World President will rotate each year between SETAC Europe, SETAC North America and one of the newer Geographical Units, either SETAC Latin America, SETAC Africa or SETAC Asia/Pacific.

At least 52 motions and 60 actions passed the SETAC Europe Council this past year!

And last but not least, I would like to express many thanks to all SETAC Europe Council members, a special thank you to the SETAC Europe Executive Committee for their excellent cooperation, all members of committees and advisory groups, the SETAC Europe membership, SETAC World Council members, presidents of the SETAC Regional Branches, Brussels and Pensacola office staff and all of you for your cooperation and support.

Author’s contact information: Gertie.Arts@wur.nl

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