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Keywords:

  • Sustainability;
  • Science;
  • Uncertainty;
  • Values;
  • Society

Abstract

A combination platform–debate session was held at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America annual meeting in Boston (November 2011). The session was organized by members of the Advisory Group on Sustainability, newly formed and approved as a global entity by the SETAC World Council just prior to the meeting. The platform portion of the session provided a historical backdrop for the debate that was designed to explore SETAC's role in the sustainability dialogue. The debate portion presented arguments for and against the proposition that “Science is the primary contribution of SETAC to the global dialogue on sustainability.” Although the debate was not designed to achieve a definitive sustainability policy for SETAC, the audience clearly rejected the proposition, indicating a desire from the SETAC membership for an expanded role in global sustainability forums. This commentary details the key elements of the session, identifies the contribution the Advisory Group will have at the World Congress in Berlin (May 2012), and invites interested persons to become active in the Advisory Group. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2013; 9: 7–11. © 2012 SETAC