IV Congress of SETAC Argentina
Fabiana Laura Lo Nostro, Universidad de Buenos Aires and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
From left to right: Honorary meeting vice president Sebastián Oddone (UADE), honorary meeting president Ricardo Orosco (UADE), meeting president María del Carmen Ríos de Molina (UBA & CONICET), meeting vice president Fabiana Lo Nostro (UBA & CONICET), SETAC Argentina president Guillermo Mentruyt (DowAgroSciences).
More than 380 scientists and representatives of Argentinean industry and government offices met 16-19 October 2012 for the IV SETAC Congress/Argentinian Chapter meeting. With the slogan "Harmonizing scientific efforts and environmental policies," it took place at Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For the opening ceremony we had the honor of being visited by Lino Barañao, Argentinean Minister of Science and Technology, who is also a well respected scientist. In his speech, among other concepts, Barañao challenged the audience to improve the communication of good science results, a critical need for the development and implementation of adequate public policies needed for the defense of the environment in the modern world.
The activities during the Congress included four one-day courses offered prior to the meeting by guests from the United States, Canada and Mexico:
- "Methods for Ecological Risk Assessment of Contaminants of Emerging Concern," by Chris Metcalfe (Trent University, Canada)
- "Designing Environmental Monitoring Programs," by Kelly Munkittrick. (University of New Brunswick, Canada) and Paulina Bahamonde (University of New Brunswick, Canada)
- "Modeling Human and Ecosystems Exposures and Impacts for Life Cycle Assessment: The USEtox Model," by Thomas McKone, lead instructor (University of California, Berkeley, USA) and Ralph Rosenbaum (Technical University of Denmark)
- "Case Studies of Environmental Risk Assessment—From Theory to Practice," by Rosa María Flores Serrano (Grupo Saneamiento de Suelos y Acuíferos, Instituto de Ingeniería, UNAM, México)
The conference included six roundtables with 25 speakers covering different topics:
- Pesticides and environment
- Toxicology in food
- Polluted sites in Latin America
- Pollution in basins
- Toxicology and human health
In addition to the six roundtables, participants enjoyed three plenary addresses:
- “Science-Based Assessments of the Use of Pesticides: Perspectives and Outlooks,” by Steve Maund (Syngenta, Suiza)
- “Life Cycle Analyses of Energy Derived from Biomass,” by Thomas McKone (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
- “Pharma and Other Domestic Residues in the Environment,” by Chris Metcalfe (Trent University, Canada)
SETAC Argentina pre-meeting courses
A symposium about life cycle applications drew six guest specialists: Ralph K. Rosenbaum (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark Produktionstorvet), Alejandro Pablo Arena (Universidad Tecnológica Nacional de la Facultad Regional Mendoza), María Aurora Agulló (Gerencia de Energía y Asuntos Ambientales, Dirección de Normalización IRAM, Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación), Mariano Spitale (Price Waterhouse & Co. Asesores de Empresas S.R.L., PwC Argentina—Advisory-Sustainability), Patricia Marino (Cámara Empresarial de MedioAmbiente, CEMA) and Elena I. Palacios (Programa Fondo Argentino de Carbono-Dirección de Cambio Climático, Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable SAyDS).
A significant number of studies and research activities were presented: 244 posters and 42 oral presentations. General topic areas included ecotoxicology (water, soil and air), genotoxicity, analytical and environmental chemistry, endocrine disruption, regulation, risk assessment and management, mechanisms of toxicity and stressors, modeling of exposure and effects, emerging contaminants, environmental science education, life-cycles and other topics.
The 332-page abstract book is available on our website. Special thanks to the 18 industry, academic and government organizations that sponsored IV SETAC Congress/Argentinian Chapter meeting. They are recognized at the front of the abstract book.
Twenty-eight students received mentions for academic merit of their poster presentations and were awarded scientific books. Twelve Argentinean students received partial travel scholarships from DOW, BASF and Croplife.
A new board of seven members for the SETAC Argentinian Chapter was elected during the Assembly to lead the chapter for the next two years.
The SETAC Argentina board
Throughout the meeting, very positive discussions and dialogue among participants from academia, industry and government took place and we saw a considerable increase in the number of people coming from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Mexico, Peru, Switzerland, United States and Uruguay. A very active participation of students and young scientists was an optimistic message for the growth of SETAC in Argentina and Latin America in the coming years.
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