And, why now? -Other disciplines (e.g., conservation biology) have benefited from horizon scanning and prioritization -Environmental science has responded to many issues, yet has not undertaken such a prospective activity -Answers to environmental questions are needed… But which ones? Brooks et al 2013. IEAM 9(2)
Why SETAC? -SETAC has always been on the forefront of environmental science -SETAC promotes balanced approaches to environmental problem solving -SETAC holds a storied history of coordinating global Pellston workshops -SETAC is the only Global Environmental Science Society -Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America Why Horizon Scanning?
Key Questions Approach Horizon scanning method Systematic way to identify major research and policy directions Previous exercises on conservation, ecology, biodiversity and agriculture Pretty et al. 2010. Int J Agric Sust. 8(4)
What is an ‘ideal’ question? Address important gaps in knowledge Be answerable through a realistic research design Have a factual answer that does not depend on value judgments Cover a spatial and temporal scale that could realistically be addressed by a research team($10M over 5 years) Not be answerable by “it all depends” or “yes” or “no” If related to impact and interventions, should contain a subject, an intervention, and a measurable outcome
SETAC’s Global Pharmaceutical Advisory Group recently published the first balanced article on research needs to understand risks of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products -Over 400 questions received -100 key questions considered during an expert workshop: balanced by sector -20 questions related to risk identified, then ranked by meeting participants -Boxall et al (2012) Environ Health Perspect A Recent SETAC Example
New EU RFP: “A methodology for the prediction of the potential environmental risk of pharmaceutical substances (EcoRiskPrediction, ERP)” What’s happened since then? Additional workshops in Australia and South Korea, these yielded several new questions - Further prioritization by over 500 corresponding authors - Contributions from 57 countries; rankings differ from SETAC - “There were significant differences in research orientation between scientists who were members of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and those who were not.” - Rudd et al. in review IEAM - Boxall et al (2012): already received over 70 citations (Google Scholar)
Risks of combined exposures in Africa Green chemistry and waste management Prioritisation of chemicals/situations of most concern Risks of legacy pollutants to environment and human health Impacts of GMOs in Africa Sensitive sub-populations in Africa to pollutants Effects of climate change on risks Weighing up environmental impacts against economic benefits 57 questions, 40 contributors
SETAC NA Nashville - New survey software purchased - Many questions submitted - Question solicitation continues
SETAC EU Basel - New tablets purchased - Look for students soliciting questions at the SETAC Square
Geographic Surveys of SETAC Members and Others Scientists -Questions must be scientific and can cover any aspect of the fields of environmental toxicology and chemistry -Africa launched in August 2013; North America in November 2013; Europe in Basel -Surveys in 2014/15: Asia-Pacific (Adelaide), Latin America -Expert workshops aligned with GU meetings (2015) -Expert workshop for global research questions (early 2016) -Top questions then prioritized by SETAC GUs (early –mid 2016) -Top research priorities announced at World Congress in Orlando (November 2016) So, What is the Process?
Current activities Initiated web survey after Nashville by email from SETAC NA; more Globe Ads planned; Advisory groups / students engaged for question solicitation Initiating EU, LA, and Asia-Pacific HSP in 2014 Activities to date have been funded by Baylor and York (~14K) – fund raising is beginning for Africa…. Per SWC instructions, steering committee members are being identified for SWC approval (e.g., Pedro Carriquiriborde, Anne Fairbrother, Rai Kookana, Lorraine Maltby, Derek Muir, Keith Solomon, Shu Tao, Paul van den Brink have agreed thus far) Per SWC instructions, budget being revised to align workshops with annual meetings = reduced costs