Iseult Lynch, Chair of the SETAC Dublin Scientific Committee

Huge thanks to the SETAC Europe environmental chemistry and toxicology communities who submitted 180 session proposals for the SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 May 2020 in Dublin, Ireland! The SETAC Dublin Scientific Committee worked hard to align and merge where possible, reducing this down to the 138 sessions that are currently open for abstract submission, and gap-filling the one or two areas where the committee felt were not sufficiently covered by the submitted session topics.

New for the Dublin meeting, the scientific committee felt there should be a platform for researchers to present “Novel tools and bioassays for 21st century environmental toxicology,” which may be broader than the foci of chemical- or organism-specific sessions proposed by the scientific community (i.e., the session topics). Thus, we invite abstracts for these sessions also and look forward to hearing about these scientific advances.

Aligned with the overall theme of the conference, “Open Science for Enhanced Global Environmental Protection,” and the goal of the SETAC Europe President Annegaaike Leopold to bridge the gap between society and scientists, the Dublin meeting will also have special sessions on “Citizen science approaches for environmental science” and “Tools to support open scientific data for the environmental risk assessment of regulated stressors.”

Capturing the current push to translate scientific advances into policy, regulation and industry, our keynote speakers for the Dublin meeting are all living examples of integrating their state-of-the-art science into real impacts. Jozef Settele, from the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, will showcase his experiences as part of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an intergovernmental body that assesses the state of biodiversity and of the ecosystem services biodiversity provides to society in response to requests from decision makers, and the role of individuals, research communities and data in supporting these activities. Building on this theme, Una Fitzpatrick from the (Irish) National Biodiversity Centre will provide a specific case study on the critical role of big data in identifying threats to biodiversity and utilizing this data to develop mitigation strategies that integrate all elements of society, from schools, councils and business, to farmers, faith groups and transport planners, utilizing the example of the All Ireland Pollinators project. Our third keynote speaker, Paul Carmichael, Science Leader at Unilever, will reflect on the scientific progress in industry on development of alternatives for animal testing, and the process of building acceptance and trust in these methods to translate them into regulation and general adoption as industry standards. Data and open data are clearly central to all these topics, and as such the keynotes are sure to inspire our research community to strive towards open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) data to drive rapid progress in global environmental protection.

We hope you agree that the SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting is shaping up to be an exciting week of top-level science, policy and communication. We look forward to seeing you there and will continue to provide updates on the scientific and social programme as it develops in the lead-up to 3–7 May 2020.

Fáilte go Baile Átha Cliath! (Welcome to Dublin!)

Author’s contact information: i.lynch@bham.ac.uk

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