22 Feb 2024

Embracing the Journey: A Message From the SETAC World Council President

Beatrice Olutoyin Opeolu, SETAC World Council President

It is with great honor and excitement that I assume the role of SETAC World Council President in January this year. Reflecting on my journey from a small, rural African community to this esteemed position fills me with gratitude and a sense of purpose. This role is particularly special to me as a black girl from an environment with limited opportunities. Despite the challenges, I persevered through tertiary education and became actively involved in SETAC.

First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude for the trust and confidence you have placed in me to lead SETAC. I am committed to upholding the high standards that our organization is known for and to continue fostering an environment that promotes excellence, collaboration and innovation in environmental science.

My journey into SETAC began in 2012 after the SETAC Europe annual meeting in Glasgow. The warmth and encouragement from SETAC members, especially global and African leaders, marked a turning point in my career. The success of a session I chaired at the SETAC Africa annual meeting in Lusaka fuelled my desire to contribute more. Initially hesitant to join the SETAC African Council, I soon realized it was one of the best decisions of my career. Being part of the SETAC family has been a privilege and an honor. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our society as the President of SETAC World Council this year.

As I assume this role, I acknowledge the solid foundation laid by my predecessors and their dedication. I focus on building upon these foundations and leading the SETAC World Council with five strategic goals: Collaboration, communication, education, leadership and structures. These priorities will guide our efforts as we pursue inclusivity, preparing SETAC for the new generation of members and leaders in 2024 and beyond.

In the coming months, we will continue to work towards enhancing SETAC's impact and relevance in the ever-evolving field of environmental toxicology and chemistry. Our primary focus will be strengthening our community's connections, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations, and amplifying the visibility of our members’ groundbreaking research.

We understand the importance of collaboration across diverse disciplines and are dedicated to creating platforms that encourage sharing ideas, methodologies and best practices. Look out for upcoming webinars, meetings and workshops to enhance your professional development and expand your network within the SETAC community. Our goal is to keep you connected, engaged and inspired by the incredible work being done by your fellow members.

I invite each of you to join me actively on this journey. Together, we can achieve our goals and make SETAC a stronger, more vibrant organization. I am committed to fostering an environment where every member feels heard and valued. As we progress through the year, I look forward to meeting many of you in our upcoming meetings. Your feedback, ideas and contributions are invaluable to the success of SETAC, and together, we can create a thriving and dynamic community that drives progress in environmental science.

As we usher in this new chapter for SETAC, I am confident that our collective dedication and passion will lead to impactful environmental toxicology and chemistry advancements. Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to working closely with each of you to make SETAC an even greater force for positive change in the years to come.

May this year be filled with blessings, fulfilment and accomplishments for each member of the SETAC community. Your support and participation are crucial as we collectively work towards making SETAC an organization that thrives and evolves.

Author's contact: [email protected]