Moving Forward at SETAC
As Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM) begins its promising 4th year, we in the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) community share a certain excitement about the journal's steady progress in establishing itself as a significant global forum for environmental science and policy. I hope that SETAC members and IEAM readers around the world will continue to look to the journal for focused science, relevant problem-solving, and for information keyed to policy making and decision-makers.
The journal's initial 3 years perhaps are best described by 1 word: Relevance. Creating an effective means of channeling observation, measurement, and analysis from laboratory and field work to the desks of environmental decision-makers involved in assessment and management is a critical step to ensuring good environmental policy and stewardship. As was hoped when SETAC set its mission in 2005 to establish a 2nd journal to compliment its flagship publication, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C), IEAM has met this challenge well and its impact and influence is sure to increase over the coming years.
Along with my colleagues in SETAC's Brussels, Belgium, and Pensacola, Florida, USA, offices, we begin this New Year sharing great enthusiasm for the opportunities and potential generated by the Society's global reach and vision. The world environmental debate is taking on renewed focus and energy. SETAC's commitment to science across disciplines and geography can illuminate the most pressing issues and the most difficult scientific challenges. SETAC can—and does—provide a very effective vehicle for bringing knowledge and understanding to a broader audience. It also can play a key role in delivering to decision-makers the information and context they need for addressing pressing issues, be they local, national, or international in scale and urgency.
SETAC will continue to do an outstanding job of meeting the needs of its more than 5,000 members. At the same time, we believe the Society can also point its members towards the new challenges emerging at the forefront of science and environmental policy. We can both encourage and help our members to take a fresh look at ways to communicate in new or different forums for information and debate on environmental assessment and management issues.
There are a number of excellent examples and opportunities. For example, the global life cycle discussion has benefited greatly from the work done by the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. Similarly, we anticipate a strong contribution by SETAC science to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM—www.UNEP.org/SAICM). As a result, you will be seeing important and timely discussion of life cycle issues in a special section of a future edition of IEAM. We are also looking at ways to bring both IEAM and ET&C into the scientific and public discussion of SAICM issues as well. With several new SETAC Advisory Groups, including the recently established advisory group on nanoparticles, we anticipate SETAC leading the scientific inquiry on a range of timely and important issues and providing the venue for integrating science with the assessment and management issues that are being tackled by governments and international agencies worldwide.
For members and non-members alike, let me encourage you to become active in SETAC as we work to ensure that the Society achieves a strong presence in the scientific community. Let me encourage you in particular to look to IEAM for reports on new approaches and advancements on environmental assessment and management topics. Lastly, join us as we build bridges between academia, business, and government. Help us bring the work of scientists and environmental managers from around the world to the attention of the broadest possible audience of environmental policy makers and practitioners.
The year ahead will no doubt be one of continued global environmental challenge. We are confident that SETAC—through its journals ET&C and IEAM and through its workshops hosted worldwide—will play a notable role in the science and debate that will enable us to meet this challenge.