Rhianon Price attended SETAC 2018 in Rome last week. We spoke with her to find out more:
“The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is a not-for-profit, worldwide professional organisation comprised of more than 5,100 individuals and institutions in over 80 countries. It is dedicated to the study, analysis and solution of environmental problems, the management and regulation of natural resources, research and development and environmental education.” (About SETAC)
“This year, one of the major themes of the conference was the public engagement with science and how information about chemicals is communicated to the public.
The public often value information from friends and family above information from authorities or scientists. There was lots of discussion about how this could be improved and how to better connect with the public. The discussion included how society chooses the questions it wants to be answered and looks to science to answer them, and how that process works.
There were also suggestions about taking a more consistent approach to chemical management across the different regulations (i.e. biocides, cosmetics, REACH).”
“I learned about phototoxicity (where chemicals can become more toxic when exposed to light), which is new for me. I also learnt that the differences in how ecotox experiments are set up effects the statistical power of the results. I learnt how that can change when looking at different results, i.e. NOEC vs ECX, and pitfalls around things like confidence intervals, and choosing models.”
“One of the highlights of attending SETAC was learning about up-to-date science, in a wide variety of areas. There were people there working on everything from nanomaterials and pollutants to metals. I had the opportunity to hear them present their work in talks and poster sessions where you can discuss the work with the author themselves, and ask any questions you might have.
Even though it was the European meeting of SETAC, there were people there from all over the world. It was a great chance to network and learn from industry professionals and academics, and speak to representatives from companies and organisations that we work closely with.
I had dinner with the LOA (Lower Olefins & Aromatics REACH Consortium) Environment Working Group chair one evening and I spoke to representatives of various stands at the conference, including NOACK Elaboration, ECHA etc. I also spoke to two PhD students from Toronto, who are both working on modelling, one of whom is working on exposure modelling and was at the exposure modelling interest group. I also spoke to a team leader of an ecotox team at ECHA, who was my mentor last year.”
“I would recommend attending SETAC because it is useful for learning new things about environmental toxicity and keeping updated with industry developments.”