Timely Scientific Opinions

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  2. Timely Scientific Opinions
  3. In a Nutshell…

Intent. The intent of Learned Discourses is to provide a forum for open discussion. These articles reflect the professional opinions of the authors regarding scientific issues. They do not represent SETAC positions or policies. And, although they are subject to editorial review for clarity, consistency, and brevity, these articles are not peer reviewed. The Learned Discourses date from 1996 in the North America SETAC News and, when that publication was replaced by the SETAC Globe, continued there through 2005. The continued success of Learned Discourses depends on our contributors. We encourage timely submissions that will inform and stimulate discussion. We expect that many of the articles will address controversial topics, and promise to give dissenting opinions a chance to be heard.

Rules. All submissions must be succinct: no longer than 1000 words, no more than 6 references, and at most one table or figure. Reference format must follow the journal requirement found on the Internet at Topics must fall within IEAM's sphere of interest.

Submissions. All manuscripts should be sent via email as Word attachments to Peter M Chapman (

SETAC's Learned Discourses appearing in the first 7 volumes of the SETAC Globe Newsletter (1999–2005) are available to members online at Members can log in with last name and SETAC member number to access the Learned Discourse Archive.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Top of page
  2. Timely Scientific Opinions
  3. In a Nutshell…


The Selenium Drinking Water Quality Guideline in Canada: The Case for a Reevaluation, by Guy Gilron.

Historic drinking water quality guidelines are arguably overprotective, except possibly in the United States and South Africa.

Analytical Chemistry

The Issue with Tissue—Does Size (of Uncertainty in Chemistry Data) Matter?, by Barbara Wernick.

Analytical results, regardless of the number of significant figures, are estimates; too much significance should not be attributed to small differences.

Toxicity Testing

It's in the Bag! Identification and Evaluation of Plastic Bag Toxicity: Implications for Aquatic Toxicity Testing and Changes to Testing Procedures, by Stanka Rkman-Filipovic, Ekatarina Mourzaeva-Solomonov, Otto Herrmann, and David Rodgers.

Transport containers should be routinely tested for toxicity unrelated to their contents.

Global Climate Change

Global Climate Change and Risk Assessment: Invasive Species, by Peter M Chapman.

In the context of global climate change irreversible changes, both positive and negative will become the norm.

Risk Assessment

Migration Patterns Affect Biomagnifying Contaminant Concentrations in Fish-eating Birds, by Raphael A Lavoie, T Kurt Kyser, and Linda M Campbell.

A conceptual model is proposed for combining external and chemical tracers to delineate biomagnifying contaminant accumulation in migratory birds.

How Can Multiple Stressors Combine to Influence Ecosystems and Why Is It Important to Address this Question?, by Eleonora Puccinelli.

One of the most interesting challenges in the future for ecology will be to investigate the consequences of system interactions across multiple scales in space and time.

Stress Syndromes: Heightened Bioenergetic Costs Associated with Contaminant Exposure at Warm Temperatures in Teleosts, by Chris J Kennedy and Peter S Ross.

Warming habitats of many cold water fish species due to climate change suggests a “Summer Stress Syndrome,” not the “Winter Stress Syndrome” postulated by Lemly.