Iseult Lynch, SETAC Dublin Scientific Committee Chair, and Rebecca Bundschuh, SETAC Europe Education Project Manager

Setting Up an Exciting Scientific Program

The Scientific Committee for the SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 May in Dublin, Ireland, was hard at work on 11 and 12 December 2019 in the SETAC Brussels office sorting through the 2,691 abstracts received across the 138 session topics during abstract submission. After two days that involved merging related sessions, re-allocating abstracts from sessions that were too small to be viable to alternative sessions, and determining which sessions would make exciting poster corners, we now have a program structure for the week. Among the key decisions that the Scientific Committee grappled with during their two days of intensive work was whether to maximize the diversity of topics or the number of time-blocks allocated to the most popular sessions. We think (hope) that we managed to optimize the program for all participants.

SETAC Dublin science committee

Members of the SETAC Dublin Science Committee

Some fun statistics are that 21% of all abstracts received were moved to an alternative session (i.e., merged with a related topic or moved to an alternative relevant topic), which is in line with previous SETAC Europe meetings, and that the final number of distinct platform session topics selected is 78, which is 10 more than Helsinki and reflects our commitment to emerging topics and niche areas which attract small but dedicated communities.

New for Dublin, we will have six poster corners per day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Participants will get headsets to hear the poster pitches, and we expect some lively discussions to emerge. Topics for the poster corners will include the most popular topics, such as fish model species and occurrence; controversial areas, like environmental risks of neonicotinoid insecticides; and emerging topics, such as dyes as environmental contaminants and environmental forensics.

The final list of topics will be available on the SETAC Dublin website soon. Session chairs have been invited to select their platform presentations, and final decision will be made early in 2020 with abstract submitters informed of their acceptance and session late January 2020.

Visitors to the SETAC Dublin website may have also noticed that we have three confirmed high-profile keynote speakers. Josef Settele, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, will cover “Biodiversity and Climate Change.” Una Fitzpatrick, National Biodiversity Centre, will discuss “The Role of Big Data and Citizen Science in Protecting Pollinators,” and Paul Carmichael, Unilever, will address “Alternatives for Animal Testing.” Check back regularly for more information, including the social program, which is taking shape and will be announced shortly.

Plans for our 30th birthday celebrations are also coming along, and we are hoping that everyone will get involved and help us mark this important milestone!

With public consciousness of the environment increasing, and the intersection of multiple anthropic threats to biodiversity and ecosystems, the importance of science-based environmental policy and the role of environmental scientists and the SETAC Europe community has never been higher! What better place than the “Emerald Isle” to re-engage with SETAC Europe and embrace environmental sciences’ role in the new EU Green Deal that will strive to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050.

New to SETAC Europe? Sign Up for the Mentorship Program!

If you are new to SETAC Europe, then you probably should enroll as a mentee to the free Mentorship Program, organized by the Membership and Public Relations Committee. This program will help you feel at ease during the meeting thanks to our host of enthusiastic mentors ready to assist you. They will introduce you to peers, help you navigate through the meeting, and will give you advice for career perspectives based on their experiences.

As a mentor, you share your experience with the next generation and you are rewarded with meeting new and enthusiastic participants as well as improving your mentoring skills.

If you want to take part to this exciting program either as a mentor or mentee, simply indicate your participation while registering for the meeting by 4 March 2020.

Multiple-Choice Examination for the SETAC Europe Certification of Environmental Risk Assessors (CRA) Program

To ensure the safe use of chemicals and the sufficient protection of the environment, it is crucial that professionals share the same high standards and broad understanding of risk assessment principles.

Therefore, the CRA Program developed nine topics that provide a solid basis for the multidisciplinary field of environmental risk assessment. Those nine subjects include ecology, environmental chemistry, regulations, statistics, modeling, as well as ecotoxicology testing and more, wherein every environmental risk assessment professional shall have basic understanding and knowledge.

The multiple-choice examination is designed to address the basic foundation and competencies in all nine CRA topics. Candidates can show their expertise or check where improvements are needed to become an environmental risk assessor.

It is also a mandatory step towards becoming a SETAC Europe Certified Environmental Risk Assessor and needs to be fulfilled amongst other requirements before applicants can take the final oral examination.

Prove your knowledge and understanding at the CRA multiple-choice examination at the SETAC Europe 30th Annual Meeting.  The examination will take place from 9–11 a.m. on Monday, 4 May. Register by 4 March 2020.

Failte go hÉireann!

Next Deadlines

27 January: Meeting registration opens
4 February: Grants application deadline
4 March: Early bird registration deadline
1 April: Late registration deadline

Authors’ contact information: i.lynch@bham.ac.uk and rebecca.bundschuh@setac.org

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