President’s Message – October 2020:

Dear Colleagues

As we are entering another period of local lockdowns due to the Pandemic, I and the Executive Committee hope you are staying well and safe. We are grateful for all you are doing to support the work of the Society during the Pandemic.

The recent resurgence in cases, and some of the sad consequences seen, are all too stark a reminder of the human tragedies that we are witnessing during this Pandemic and our thoughts are with all those who have lost someone during this Pandemic.

Plans for the 2021 Annual Congress, to be held at Voco® St David’s, Cardiff from the 12-14 April 2021, are continuing to progress so if you have not already done do please consider registering for the Congress. I do hope we will see as many of you as possible next year.

However the Executive Committee are cognisant of the current situation due to Covid-19 and we are therefore keeping the Annual Congress under review. I will keep the membership up to date on our deliberations and will let you know if we have to make any changes to our planned Annual Congress next year due to the current situation and based on Government guidance over the next few months.

In my previous Newsletter I acknowledged a number of companies that had provided a donation to the Society. I would now like to extend my gratitude, and that of the Executive Committee, to two additional companies who have provided donations to the Society:

  • UCB
  • GlaxoSmithKline

Through the generosity of many companies the BTS is able to support initiatives for the benefit of its members such as bursaries for students and early career toxicologists to enable them to attend our Annual Congress. We are always grateful for donations provided by companies particularly at this difficult time. If your company would like to support the Society please contact our secretariat, Executive Business Services (EBS), by emailing [email protected] and they would be happy to discuss the various options with you.

Over the last few months we have been gauging the benefits the Society provides its members (https://www.thebts.org/join-the-bts/). These benefits are often through the generosity of donations from Industry, Learned Societies and Publishers. In addition to our current offerings I am pleased to inform our members of additional opportunities through Lhasa Limited and the webinars they offer on a variety of topics.  For more information, please visit https://www.lhasalimited.org/

Other areas that may be of interest to you include:

  1. Opportunities to serve on the Executive Committee from April 2021.

The Executive Committee provides a strategic overview to the running of the Society and provides guidance to the Subcommittees responsible for our scientific meetings, speciality sub-sections, education programme, publicity and  communication. A number of positions on the Executive Committee will be available from April 2021 following the  AGM. More details will be sent out to members via an email in the next few weeks so please check your inbox.

If you are interested in applying you will be asked to provide a short biography (no more than 500 words including a summary of your previous involvement with the BTS or other Professional Society) and a photograph together with names of two referees who will support your application, at least one of whom should be a BTS member. All applications  will then be considered by the Nominations Subcommittee.

  1. Webinars

I am pleased to report that the excellent lectures organised by the Scientific Subcommittee (SSC) and the Education, Training and Career Development Subcommittee (ETCD) last week, in place of the scheduled Annual Congress, were  well received. The Virtual Plenary Lecture was presented by Professor Mike Skinner on Transgenerational Toxicology: Ghosts of exposure. The Hot Topics Lecture “Regulatory assessment and risk management of chemical mixtures: Challenges and ways forward” was presented by Dr Stephanie Bopp. Both lectures were excellent and provided food for thought.

The ETCD Subcommittee will be uploading the lectures from the virtual Continuing Education Programme on “Chemicals in the Environment“ to the website so if you missed them or want more information please visit the BTS website.  Again an excellent programme which was well received.

Please note that there is a forthcoming webinar on “Proteolysis-targeting chimeras in drug development: A safety perspective” presented by Dr Kevin Moreau, AstraZeneca and chaired by Dr Muireann Coen (AstraZeneca/Imperial College London) and Dr Carolin Schramm (UCB) from 10.00-11.30 on October 8th. If you are interested in attending you will find the details here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VCEtw1QORkuKJZQ1wqujzA

  1. Toxicology Research Journal

Please remember to support our Journal and consider submitting your papers for publication.

  1. Other items of interest for our Members

Our Strategy for 2020-2024 has been published on the website https://www.thebts.org/information/strategies/). Please forward any comments you have on the Strategy to me at [email protected].  I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.

A new Members’ Survey will be sent out to our membership in October by email with a link to the Survey. I would encourage you to please take some time to fill it in and let us have your views. We will use the responses received to help shape the Society.

A call will be sent out to ask  for volunteers to help assess changes being made to the  BTS website to ensure that this meets the needs of our users. Further details to follow

A Question and Answer session via Zoom with your President later this year. Details to follow.

Finally I have to bring to the attention of the membership an issue that the Executive Committee have been informed about relating to research misconduct by a previous member of this Society, Dan Antoine.

The University of Liverpool undertook a detailed investigation that commenced in 2017 regarding alleged research misconduct by Dan Antoine.

The University of Liverpool found that malpractice had taken place and this had directly influenced and undermined the findings of the research undertaken, and published, by Dan Antoine. The allegations against him were upheld.

The outcome of the investigation is provided in an article published by the University of Liverpool this August https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2020/08/17/further-update-on-research-misconduct-investigation/

Given this information the BTS Executive Committee, at its meeting on the 22nd September 2020, decided to nullify the Early Career Award presented by the Society to Dan Antoine in 2013 and to remove links to the report he presented in 2016 about his experiences as the BTS-ASCEPT Lecturer.

Following this incident the Executive Committee have now put in place a Code of Conduct which all new members will be asked to sign up to. Our current membership should also be aware of this Code and can find it here: https://www.thebts.org/information/policies/

I hope you remain safe and well.

Please feel free to contact me via [email protected]

Yours sincerely

 

Professor Shirley Price
President of the BTS
[email protected]

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- October 15, 2020, 9:01 pm

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- October 15, 2020, 1:21 pm

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