SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
19 February 2015
Volume 16 Issue 2

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SETAC Global Executive Director’s Corner

Charles Menzie, SETAC Global Executive Director

SETAC TED Talks? While they might not be TED talks, SETAC’s digital recordings of meeting sessions are a source of information and inspiration not only to our members but to a wider audience. The recordings are available for free at the SETAC Live Learning Center. The quality and organization of the online recordings have continued to improve with each meeting. However, there are still great nuggets of information in our earliest efforts. For example, full sessions were recorded at SETAC Nashville, but for SETAC Vancouver, we have the sessions divided into individual presentations. For a sample, check out the presentation series “The Life, Loves and Death of Hg2+” by Jeremy Smith. Based on feedback after SETAC Nashville, we learned that individuals might prefer to listen to individual sessions. So, beginning with the SETAC Vancouver meeting that is now possible. For example, one of the featured individual recordings from SETAC Vancouver is by Brad Sample who discussed “Dietary vs Tissue-based Risk Estimation for Lead in Mammals.”

Other featured talks that I found particularly enjoyable include “Endangered Species Toxicity Extrapolation Using ICE Models” by Mace Barron and “Monitoring of Remedial Effectiveness in a River System” by John Flanders.

Collectively, these talks reflect the diversity of scientific information shared within SETAC. As global executive director, I was also intersected in presentations made by individuals from the various geographic units, and I will share four with you:

  1. Ikechukwu Onwurah of Nigeria presented “Effects of Uncontrolled Long Term Mining Activities on Soil Properties and Ecosystem Carbon and Nitrogen Storage in Rice Farmland, Ishiagu, Nigeria
  2. Joseane Marques from Brazil described her graduate research on “Biomarkers Responses to Copper Eexposure and Ocean Acidification in Amphistegina spp
  3. Caroline Moermond of the Netherlands gave a comprehensive overview of “CRED – Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating Ecotoxicity Data Improve Transparency and Consistency
  4. Beili Wang of China presented her graduate research on the “Occurrence of Naphthenic Acids in Petroleum Refinery Wastewater Plants

The SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, will once again host a Science Slam. I found this to be one of the most enjoyable events of the Basel meeting, and you can listen to and watch the entertaining and informative recording of it as well, including How to Choose a Model. We look forward to more of the same in Barcelona.

SETAC’s digital recordings allow us to do several things. First, they are invaluable educational tools for us and our colleagues. It is impossible to attend every session at an annual meeting, and the recordings serve to fill in the gaps. We also know many friends and colleagues that wished they could attend the meetings but, for some reason, were not able to do so. Making these folks aware of the recordings is a gift. Being able to watch and listen to the full presentations as well as the Q&A is the next best thing to being there, albeit without all the terrific social and technical interactions that make the meetings themselves one of the most important professional engagements for our members.

A third opportunity is one that is aligned with SETAC’s mission—outreach to the broader scientific community, the public and policy makers. The visual and audio impact of the recordings and the diversity of topics covered provide opportunities for us to share SETAC-related science and scientists and a broader audience. Because of our tripartite nature, there are often varying points of view on issues, and these are captured in many of the recorded presentations. To help introduce SETAC and to highlight topics, I am bringing the recordings to the attention of people outside our society. And, I think they will be especially impactful for our members in the developing world who sometimes find it difficult to travel to meetings.

What can you do? First, do yourself a favor and listen to our type of “TED talks” at the Live Learning Center to learn something new and inspirational. Second, share links with others who may know less about our society or about what you do. Third, think about how the recordings could provide insights to decision makers and policy folks who may not be members of our society but would like to understand the science better.

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