SETAC Europe Executive Director’s Corner
Bart Bosveld, SETAC Europe Executive Director
Last summer, I was sailing one of the many boats escorting the impressive tall ships traveling from the seaport IJmuiden to the city of Amsterdam, where they all gathered for Sail 2015, one of the largest maritime events in the world. One of the eye-catchers in the parade was the Belem, a three-masted barque built in 1896 in France. She is still a beauty, and her home port is Nantes.
SETAC Europe also set a course to Nantes, with the journey starting several years ago. The incredible number of boats escorting the Belem to the port is exemplary for all those that helped us in our preparations, and I would like to thank all the captains and crews of the ships that have guided us to Nantes, where we will be mooring soon. The local organizing committee, the scientific committee, SETAC staff, Nantes metropole, La Cité, the session chairs and the vast crew of presenters are all shaping the meeting to one of which we can be proud and greatly enjoy. We all have been working anxiously to prepare yet another “best meeting ever.” You will soon find out first-hand at the 26th SETAC Europe Annual Meeting from 22–27 May in Nantes, France.
In Nantes, the SETAC Europe VZW Annual General Assembly will be convened. Here you can learn what has been achieved in the past year, and we will present the plans for the coming year. At the general assembly, members will be asked to approve the financial reports of SETAC Europe, including the 2015 accounts and the 2016 budget. By the grace of our successful annual meetings, SETAC Europe is able to maintain a healthy financial position and invest in important new initiatives such as the Certification of Environmental Risk Assessors.
This new program was launched last year at the annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain. I am proud to announce that following this recent roll out, the number of students enrolling in the program is increasing and that the first individuals even have been recognized as Certified Environmental Risk Assessors. Are you also already an experienced risk assessor and want to be evaluated to receive this title? Please check out how to apply at certification.setac.eu. If you want more information or have further questions, please meet us at the SETAC Square during the Nantes meeting. Staff and volunteers will be there every day to assist you with your enrollment or direct application, as well as assist you with any other information you have about the program.
Another exciting initiative taking place in Nantes is a special session on science integrity and publication bias. There is increasing consensus that more systematic and explicit attention should be paid to responsible behavior in science. For a society such as SETAC, this is an important issue, and with this session we hope to contribute to the discussion about what is responsible behavior and how SETAC scientists can take a stand against questionable research practices.
Last but not least, we need your help to move SETAC Europe in the right direction. SETAC Europe is governed by the SETAC Europe Council and supported by the work of nine standing committees. The committees are composed of SETAC Europe members who wish to contribute to the governance of SETAC Europe regarding, amongst others, science, education, communication and financial matters of the society. The SETAC Europe Council encourages the direct involvement of SETAC Europe members, including students, in the governance of SETAC Europe and recently implemented new committee guidance to ensure broad membership participation in the SETAC Europe committees. As a consequence, there are currently a total of 31 vacant positions across all nine SETAC Europe standing committees, including nine positions for student members. The SETAC Europe committees will be represented at the SETAC Square in Nantes as well. Please check the schedule on the SETAC Nantes website to hear from the committee chairs how you can contribute and apply for a committee if you are interested.
Looking forward to meeting you in Nantes!
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