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SETAC “Advisory Groups” Terminology
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4/27/2016 at 9:44:36 AM GMT
Posts: 12
SETAC “Advisory Groups” Terminology

This thread is meant for discussion of a new name for the advisory groups. For everybody's convenience below again the full email by SWC, and the current list of suggestions.

- SETAC Expert Group
- SETAC Interest Group
- SETAC Discussion Group
- SETAC xxx Network (e.g. “SETAC LCA Network”)
- SETAC Dialog Group


Dear SETAC (Global/GU) Advisory Group chairs, co-chairs, members,
We would like to hear your opinion regarding the initiative to change the designation “Advisory Groups” (AG) to an alternative name.
First of all and to contextualise you, the terminology “advisory” has been discussed in SETAC Europe Council and brought to SETAC World Council as potentially inappropriate. To name some of the reasons:
1. SETAC Advisory Groups do not advise. Actually, an advice on SETACs’ behalf would not be allowed. Each SETAC member may hold a specific opinion which does not need to be unified, i.e., different stakeholders and members can disagree on the way forward to certain topics, and this would not be possible to outreach as a SETAC (tripartite society) message.
2. The term “Advisory” has been reason for conflict of interest for members of AG. Entities like e.g. EFSA have expressed their concern on the liaison of SETAC AG members when taking roles in EFSA, requesting their mandatory removal from the AG to be allowed the role, specifically because of the implications of “advisory”.
For these reasons there is a proposal to rename “Advisory” onto a consensual and more adequate name.
The following suggestions have been given, for your guidance, but further alternatives are most welcome as well as your general feedback on the subject:
- SETAC Expert Group
- SETAC Interest Group
- SETAC Discussion Group
- SETAC xxx Network (e.g. “SETAC LCA Network”)
- SETAC Dialog Group
There is an aim that the change in the name brings further advantages and represents an improvement for all, please bear that in mind.
We kindly ask you to bring this issue to discussion in the respective AG and to please feedback the outcome to us by mail until the 1st May. Further discussion will take place at the face to face meeting in Nantes on the 24th May 15-16h (room B+C) – AG Summit.
Kind regards,
Mónica Amorim (pp),
on behalf of SWC

4/27/2016 at 9:49:52 AM GMT
Posts: 12
I was wondering whether we have to go with the "group" term. Maybe calling them panels would also be possible. This would let them appear more official.
- e.g., SETAC Expert Panel

We should also consider that the abbreviation has to work. Discussion Group and Dialog Group would be abbreviated "DG", which could cause confusion with the EU DGs.

The "Network" doesn't work well in my opinion. For LCA this might be nice, but for longer topics like, e.g., of SCIRIC this doesn't seem to be a good solution.


4/27/2016 at 8:04:52 PM GMT
Posts: 10

Here's my two-sense (for what it's worth!). 

When I was chair of the NA Student Advisory Council, we discussed this (at the request of the SNA BoD). We should remember that any SETAC member can join an AG and therefore the term "Expert" may lead some to believe that only experts on that topic can join. Therefore, I vote that we do not include "Expert Group" in our recommendations.

I actually prefer "Interest Group" or "Interest Panel" because to me, that is what an advisory group is. We are a group of SETAC members that have some sort of interest in a specific topic. We may be there to advance the science, we may be there to learn more about communication, but ultimately we all have an interest. This removes the stigma that all members must be experts.

I don't necessarily like the term "Discussion Group" because some AGs do more than just discuss, some really advance the way that science moves through workshops etc. And Dialog sounds like discussion to me.

I'm indifferent to "Panel", "Group", or "Network".

Last edited Wednesday, April 27, 2016
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