SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  19 January 2012
Volume 13 Issue 1

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Tim Canfield, SETAC World Council President

What’s in Store for 2012

Tim Canfield, SETAC World Council President

Happy New Year to all! With every new year there is always a sense of renewal, a resetting of all the expectations, and a sense of anticipation for things to come. It is with this sense of excitement that I am particularly pleased that SETAC is launching its World Congress year with such a strong program of activities. And for me personally, it is a great honor to have the opportunity to serve as the Society’s president this year. I look forward to working with the leadership and members around the world and hope that you will join me as we strive to make this SETAC’s most successful year ever. 

Much will be written this year about sustainability, what it means, what the world is doing to tackle the challenge, and what SETAC is doing as a scientific society to promote sustainability, both within SETAC and as a contribution to the broader scientific discussion on sustainability. Our newest global advisory group is leading an active discussion on the topic, and we are working toward a broader Society statement in connection with the upcoming World Congress, set for 20–24 May 2012 in Berlin. Our efforts complement and interface well into the backdrop of the global discussion, including the Rio+20 environmental summit in mid-year, and our three 2012 meetings in Berlin, Kumamoto and Long Beach will all include sustainability as a significant theme. Look for this discussion at the meetings and via our advisory group, and I invite everyone to join us in this important aspect of SETAC’s future.

We are looking forward to an important year in our science and outreach efforts. We are very fortunate to have Allen Burton carrying the Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry torch forward as the next editor-in-chief, following Herb Ward’s great work over the previous three decades in making ET&C SETAC’s best known calling card. But rapidly making a name in its own right is the Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management journal, under the direction of Rick Wenning and Jenny Shaw. Along with top quality articles, they have innovatively taken the journal into the podcast world. I encourage you to check the journal's web site and listen in to a podcast or two. I am sure you will find it a wonderful addition to our publishing program.

Our 6th World Congress, which we will be celebrating in connection with the SETAC Europe annual meeting this May, is shaping up in an outstanding way. All signs point to attendance in the 2,500 range and the local organizing committee, under Dr. Henner Hollert, and the science program committee, under Dr. Norbert Scholz, are working very hard to put on a world class conference. Some of you may recall the very successful 5th World Congress in Sydney, a mere four years ago. Since that time, we have seen the global economic issues hinder not only countries but many scientific societies as well. Many societies have either stagnated or shrunk in size during this time. But through the quality of the science you, the members, bring to SETAC meetings and publish in SETAC journals, SETAC has seen an impressive level of growth from around 4,500 members in 2008 to almost 6,000 at the end of 2011. This year, we fully expect that our membership total will exceed 6,000, a 25–30% increase from four years ago! All the members of SETAC have had a hand in making this happen, and I want to express my sincere thank you for all your efforts.

At the Sydney World Congress, SETAC started discussions with a number of smaller societies around the world that have similar interests as SETAC with the goal of bringing these societies and their members into the SETAC family. In 2011, we welcomed the members of the Australasian Society of Ecotoxicology into SETAC.  As 2012 commences, we welcome the members of the Brazilian Society of Ecotoxicology, who are joining SETAC as a regional chapter in SETAC Latin America. And as we approach the Berlin World Congress, we anticipate welcoming Africa as a full geographic unit. Throughout the year, we will highlight the great activities of our regional chapters around the world, from Brisbane to Recife to numerous cities in North America and Europe, and keep you informed as we continue our discussions with other societies.

Let me take this opportunity to thank John Toll and Nancy Musgrove, together with their network of Globe regional and topical editors, for their great success in providing us with a top-notch Society newsletter. They and their colleagues are telling the SETAC story with such enthusiasm and attentiveness, their articles on the annual meetings and special symposia and events take you right back to the action. Great job to all that make this happen!

As I close, I would like to thank Paul van den Brink for his service as SETAC President in 2011, Jane Staveley for her service as SETAC Immediate Past President, and Fred Heimbach for his service as the SETAC Treasurer.  While Jane and Fred will resume their less hectic lives as they depart from the SETAC World Council, I will have the privilege of working with Paul one more year in his capacity as Immediate Past President. I would also like to welcome Bill Goodfellow as the incoming SETAC Vice President and David Phillips as the incoming SETAC Treasurer. Hang on guys, 2012 is shaping up to be an exciting and busy year!  I know that Paul van den Brink and my other predecessors in the SETAC presidency are proud of the Society and the commitment we all have made to bring the best possible experience to the membership, through the showcase annual meetings to simple networking and to facilitating members’ opportunities to publish their science in our highly valued journals and books. Please join this common effort this year, we need an active membership, working in committees and advisory groups, organizing workshops on cutting edge topics, and mentoring our younger members, including students. I look forward to our future contacts and discussions and to seeing you at a SETAC event this year. I hope you all have a great year!

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