In the 1970s, no forum existed for interdisciplinary communication among environmental scientists—biologists, chemists, toxicologists—as well as managers and engineers others interested in environmental issues. SETAC was founded in North America in 1979 and soon grew to be a global entity.
SETAC is concerned about global environmental issues and is committed to Environmental Quality Through Science®. Because of its multidisciplinary approach, the scope of the science of SETAC is broader in concept and application than that of many other societies. SETAC’s development and the growth of the environmental movement are closely associated.
SETAC’s growth from SETAC North America has been marked by the establishment of Geographic Units around the world: SETAC Europe in 1989, SETAC Asia-Pacific in 1997, SETAC Latin America in 1999 and SETAC Africa in 2012, as well as regional chapters and branches at the more local level.
A unique strength of SETAC is its commitment to balance the scientific interests of government, academia and business. The society's by-laws mandate equal representation from these three sectors for officers, World Council, Geographic Unit boards of directors and councils, and committee members and governance of activities. The proportion of members from each of the three sectors has remained nearly equal over the years.
To learn more about the beginnings of SETAC, download a copy of the book “A History of SETAC.”