President’s Newsletter: April 2024

Dear BTS Members,

As many of you will know, my nomination to be President of the BTS for the next two years was endorsed at the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society which was held during our Annual Congress in Liverpool. It is a great privilege to follow in the footsteps not only of Professor Brian Lake who has held this position for the last two years but also of the many other Past Presidents who I have known over my 40 year career in toxicology as close colleagues and friends and in some cases as my line managers!

I should like to begin by paying tribute to Professor Lake for his excellent leadership of the Society and also to all the members of the Executive Committee (EC) who have worked so hard to sustain and then further develop the Society as we emerged from the Covid 19 epidemic. This has been a challenging period but, as reflected in Brian’s final newsletter (Presidents-Final-Newsletter), there have been many significant achievements over the last two years which wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work not only of the EC and but also of many other Society members. I should like to add my thanks to all of you.

If you were present at the recent AGM, you will have heard me mention my commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). There are of course a number of legal requirements which the Society must adhere to. However, I strongly believe that a commitment to EDI is not just about policies and procedures; it is also about our culture, our ability to respect and indeed promote EDI in everything we do. It starts with our structures, of course, and I do believe that today we are led by an Executive Committee which better reflects the diversity of our membership; not only, for example, in gender and ethnicity but also in the range of scientific and employment backgrounds of our members. I will continue to encourage the further development of our EDI culture during my time as President and we plan later this year to reach out to all our members to seek your views on what EDI means to you and how you think the Society could further enhance its EDI culture.

Returning to the recent Annual Congress, I would like to congratulate the Scientific Sub-Committee on the breadth and quality of the scientific programme. With just under 330 registrants in total, it was fantastic to see so many delegates, speakers and posters in Liverpool for 3 days of exciting science and networking. Congratulations also to all our prize winners (Awards-Bursaries) and a warm welcome to our new EC members who were elected during the AGM (Executive-Committee). The recordings of the Congress will be uploaded to the website in the next few weeks. I would encourage everyone who attended to complete the online feedback form by Friday May 10th to provide an input to the organisation and content of future Congresses so that they can continue to meet the needs of our diverse membership.

On May 8th I will be chairing my first EC meeting as President. Although this will be our annual strategy meeting, this year we have an opportunity to update and revise our existing 2020-2024 strategy to take us into the period 2024-2028. Our current Vision is “driving excellence in toxicology” and our Mission “to provide the principal forum for toxicology in the UK, to support and enrich the careers of toxicologists, and to promote the importance and advancement of toxicology in the wider scientific and lay communities.” As well as addressing if they are still relevant and appropriate for the next four years, we will look in detail at our future commitments and objectives.

Fundamental to any Society strategy is that it facilitates the development and delivery of tangible and valuable benefits to its membership. I thought you might like to see this snapshot (>Click Here<) of some of the current membership benefits which Kirsti Hornigold, our Lead Ambassador, and Lisa Godfrey have created with other BTS colleagues. I thought it was a really good pictorial reminder of what the Society can currently offer.

My next President’s Newsletter will include a summary of the outcome of our Strategy Meeting and my initial thoughts on how this will help to steer the future development of our Society.

Best wishes to you all,


Dr Phil Botham
President of the BTS