News from the SETAC Europe Office
About the SETAC Europe Special Science Symposium (SESSS04)
"One of the best meetings I have been to ," "a very useful update," "very interesting and informative;" just some of the comments I received during the 4th Special Science Symposium on the Environmental Risk Assessment of biocides which was held in the Marivaux Hotel in Brussels on 25-26 October. The Symposium focused on methods to assess environmental exposure to biocidal products and criteria for risk assessment in the context of the impending EU legislation which (in 2012) will replace the current EC Directive (in place since 1998). A key area of debate was why there was so little harmonisation between the different chemicals legislative instruments. With around 70 delegates the atmosphere was right for really good interaction and discussion which kicked off after the first two presentations and was still going strong after the meeting had ended. The tripartite stakeholder representation meant that each could learn from the other which once again demonstrates that our SETAC philosophy works well. The symposium was chaired by Leon Van der Wal (European Commission) and Thomas Preuss (University of Aachen) with key contributions from The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Commission, industry, consultants and research. Presentations and pictures can now be viewed on the website sesss04.setac.eu.
My thanks to all involved for making it such a success. It has reinforced the position of SETAC Europe as a credible and competent science based organisation. Note on 15 and 16 February 2012 SETAC Europe will hold the 5th Special Science Symposium (SESSS), which will address the use of the ecosystem services concept for the implementation of European environmental policies. 15 December is the deadline for abstract submission and early registration!
Join or propose SETAC Summer Schools
SETAC Summer Schools may be proposed by SETAC Members and aim to offer scientists and students training through the best up-to-date knowledge in several areas. Summer schools and their organisers will benefit from publicity and recognition by SETAC. Deadline for proposing Summer Schools is 31 January.
What is a Summer School?
Summer schools aim to offer scientists and students training through the best up-to-date knowledge in the areas of:
- Environmental quality
- Environmental chemistry
- Risk assessment within the framework of generic (e.g. Water framework Directive) or dedicated (e.g. REACH, Plant Protection Products…) regulations
- Handling, monitoring and remediation of pollution
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Management (LCM)
- Emerging pollutants
Summer schools include time for teaching, exchanges, self-working on case-studies and knowledge assessment. Principles and methodologies developed are illustrated through worked examples, hands-on or case-studies.
Summer schools may be proposed by SETAC Members and aim to offer scientists and students training through the best up-to-date knowledge in several areas. Summer schools and their organisers will benefit from publicity and recognition by SETAC.
Summer Schools, practically?
Summer schools are conducted in summer (from June to beginning of September), at a suitable location close to the organiser. In order to ascertain that enough time is given to teaching, exchanges, self-working on case-studies and knowledge assessment, Summer Schools are organised over one to two weeks.
Who may attend a Summer School?
Summer schools are organized for scientists of diverse origins and activities (students, scientists at universities, regulatory offices and private companies), who have the background education for the training. Available Summer Schools will be advertised in April through the Summer School website.
Who may propose a Summer School?
Summer schools may be proposed by SETAC Members being representatives of risk assessment offices, universities, research centres or laboratories having proved a sound expertise in the area. Speakers should have both experience and practice in the principles and methodologies presented during the training.
How to proceed?
For more information on how to propose a Summer School, please click here.
It was with sadness that we said goodbye to Katrien Arijs who has been Science and Operational Manager of SETAC Europe for several years. Katrien is well known to many in SETAC as she fronted the scientific activities of SETAC Europe including the Annual Meetings and Special Science Symposia. When Bart Bosveld relinquished his post as Executive Director, Katrien was asked by the Executive Committee to take on the unenviable role of acting ED as well as coping with managing the scientific programme, a near impossible task which she managed extraordinarily well. Since I became ED two years ago, Katrien and I worked closely together in efforts to improve the way SETAC Europe functioned through Council and in the quality of our scientific meetings. Katrien set very high standards and was meticulous in her preparation which is why things worked! For example, the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting was planned with the precision of a military operation but this was to ensure that the audience experience a seamless transition from one activity on stage to the next. Katrien was passionate about working for SETAC Europe, with all the highs and lows of a demanding job, but she knew what she wanted and overall it was to enhance the professionalism of SETAC Europe as befits it as the key scientific Society in Europe. She certainly kept me on my toes and indeed she will be a hard act to follow. We wish Katrien well in her new job and also in her forthcoming role as a mother.
Roel Evens joined SETAC Europe as Science Project Manager on November 1st. He will take over the science part of Katrien’s duties and also provide support to SETAC at the global level in outreach activities with European based organisations. Roel is Belgian and lives in Ghent. He completed his PhD this year. The title of his doctoral dissertation: “Bioavailability and toxicity of dietary nickel and zinc to the water flea Daphnia magna”. The major aim of this research was to improve the models that are currently used in environmental risk assessments of freshwater contaminants. A refinement of these models has enabled to assess environmental impacts with higher accuracy.
Roel will report to the Executive Director. I look forward to working with Roel and hope that many of you will have the opportunity to meet him both at the SNA and SETAC Europe Annual Meetings.
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