31 Aug 2023

A Letter from the SETAC North America President 2023

Tisha King-Heiden, University of Wisconsin

During the general assembly at last year's SETAC North America annual meeting, I shared with the readers the 2023 board priorities: Reconnecting members to advance scientific excellence, with continued efforts at increaing transparency, inclusivity and belonging. Our focus on community building has been to strengthen relationships between SETAC North America governance and members. I am excited to update you on some of the progress we have made so far this year.

We are all excited about the new SETAC membership platform. We thank staff for all their efforts to make it happen. The new platform better enables us to engage our members. As a volunteer-based science society, we bring together scientists with different perspectives to move the field of environmental toxicology and chemistry forward. There are many ways to collaborate and network with other SETAC members, including connecting at the regional level.

It is hard to believe that in just a few short months, we will be together again in Louisville, Kentucky, to share latest research at the SETAC North America 44th Annual Meeting.  The program looks to be intriguing as always, along with some stellar parallel programming events. We are excited to catch up on ground-breaking science. If you have some exciting work that finalized this summer, we invite you to submit to the call for late-breaking science abstracts. Students are encouraged to check out the rubrics for presentation judging as guidance for pulling together an effective presentation, so that they are aware of how their presentations will be evaluated at the annual meeting. We will continue the tradition of hosting a SETAC Assembly, where the board can engage with all members interested in SETAC North America’s direction.

We are particularly excited about our new Social Responsibility program. Like carbon offset programs SETAC has supported in the past, this program allows SETAC members to promote social change that aligns with the environmental justice aspects of our work. As scholars committed to protecting the environment, we cannot ignore the impacts that historical marginalization has had on the health of our environment and communities. We worked with an organization to connect with local groups in Louisville, Kentucky, where our meeting will be held, and SETAC members can choose to support them if interested. The board of directors agreed to have SETAC North America kick-start each program by donating $1,000 to be split across the identified organizations: Louisville Grows, Kentucky Health Justice Network and the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation.

Finally, the board continues to work on developing programs that foster community building by developing stronger collaborations among SETAC North America governance and regional chapters with a focus on sharing best practices for retaining and supporting SETAC members and working with staff to expand recruitment programs. We are also developing avenues to expand offerings of special topics meetings, workshops and smaller webinar, seminars or panel discussions through SETAC North America and in collaboration with global SETAC.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Louisville!

Author's contact: [email protected]