President’s Newsletter Number 7: July 2021
I hope I find you all well, staying safe and looking forward to some down time, particularly as the Schools and Colleges have broken up, or about to break up, for the summer recess. There has been a lot going on over the last few weeks since my last Newsletter and below are some highlights. My thanks as ever to my colleagues on the Executive Committee and those on the Subcommittees for the work they do behind the scenes on behalf of the Society. My thanks also are due to our Ambassadors for the support they provide to the Society, to our secretariat, Executive Business Support Limited, for their help and advice, and to you, our members.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those companies who have supported the Society and provided a donation for the 2022 session including:
- Charles River Edinburgh
I am aware of other companies who are considering our request for donations and look forward to being able to provide further updates in my next Newsletter in September.
The Society appreciates that companies may not be able to provide support to the BTS through financial donations, however there are other ways to provide support such as:
- allowing employees to attend the Annual Congress from your organisation.
- supporting the Annual Congress through adverts in the Congress Booklet.
- supporting the Annual Congress by providing Tote bags, pens, lanyards, etc for the event.
- booking a stand to advertise your company at the Exhibitors’ Fayre.
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.
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. The Society appreciates all the generous support it receives.
Other areas of interest include:
- 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. Positions available from April 2022 are the Vice President and Vice Chair of the Scientific Subcommittee. If you are interested in applying for either of these positions, please send a CV and a 300 word statement as to why you are interested in the position to [email protected] and your details will be forwarded to Dr Chris Powell, Chair of the Nominations Subcommittee. Applications to be sent by the 24th September 2021.
- Other opportunities to support the Society
The Executive Committee want to attract more of its members into helping to build the Society to meet the members’ needs and there are often opportunities that arise on our subcommittees, as an Ambassador or supporting the Society through networking or submitting articles to; Toxicology Research the official journal of the Society. If you are interested in being more involved, please send your name and a short statement of what you are interested in and we will look to see what vacancies are available for you. Given our continued use of virtual meeting platforms, we can ensure that we can engage with our membership across the world – there will be no barriers in being able to attend meetings. If you are interested, please contact me via [email protected].
3. Nominations for the Paton Prize 2022
Sir William Paton left the BTS a bequest to encourage scholarship in historical aspects of toxicology. This Prize Lecture is awarded biennially at the Annual Congress to a person of senior standing in toxicology. If you are interested there will be a call going out soon to all members via email. More information can be found at https://www.thebts.org/awards-and-prizes/
- Fellowship of the BTS (FBTS)
Fellows of the British Toxicology Society (FBTS) are members who have demonstrated distinction and peer recognition in Toxicology. There are currently 60 Fellows listed on the BTS website, all of whom have made, and continue to make, substantial contributions to the discipline of Toxicology through their work, publication and presentation of research, leadership, and contribution to the Society, The Executive Committee would like to encourage members to nominate themselves or a fellow member (with the member’s consent) for consideration of being a Fellow of the BTS. Closing date for applications is the 24th September 2021.
Please see the website https://www.thebts.org/awards-and-prizes/ for further details and to download an application form. I look forward to receiving applications for Fellowship of the BTS for our members.
Details of webinars run by the American College of Toxicology, Lhasa and many other organisations can be found on our website which members may find of interest:
- The Practical Application of Toxicology in Drug Development (PATDD) Course
The British Toxicology Society, The American College of Toxicology, and the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences are hosting a virtual course from September 13th –17th 2021 that will provide training in toxicology as applied in drug development. Registration closes on 12th September 2021.
- BTS Annual Congress 2022
As you are aware our Annual Congress will be held in person from the 4th -6th April 2022 at the Hilton, Gateshead. We will be providing some key areas of the Congress online for those unable to attend in person. More information on the Congress to follow via the website, social media and emails over the coming months. I do hope we will see as many of you as possible next year at the Annual Congress.
- Toxicology Research Journal
Toxicology Research is published by Oxford University Press (OUP). Toxicology Research publishes high quality, cutting edge research that is innovative and has international impact. The journal encourages articles that cover biological, chemical, clinical, or environmental health aspects of the toxic response and the mechanisms involved.
More information can be found at: https://academic.oup.com/toxres/pages/About
I am pleased to announce that Toxicology Research has a new impact factor value of 3.524, against the 2019 impact factor of 2.283. Our congratulations to Professor Wallace, Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Team for this accomplishment.
I would also like to thank our members for supporting the journal which, given the quality of papers being published, has supported this increase in the impact factor for this year. Well done to everyone involved!
- Other things to look out for over the next few months
The BTS website is about to take on a face lift and will be launch very soon. I would like to thank Dr Fiona Sewell and members of the Task and Finish group for all the hard work being undertaken behind the scenes. The group have been working with Insight Design and Print Ltd who have transformed the website and I think you will all be pleased with the result following its launch.
Communication is key as we have members across the globe and we want to improve our methods of communication to ensure that all members can take advantage of the benefits the Society offers (please see https://www.thebts.org/join-the-bts/). If you have any thoughts on what more can be done to engage with our membership do email me at [email protected].
The Editorial Team welcome suggestions for news items to be included in the Newsfeed from members and non-members alike. Please contact the [email protected] if you would like to have something considered.
Public Statements: .If any of our members have ideas on topics for the website, please send these to Dr Phil Botham wo is Chair of the Public Communications Steering Team, via [email protected]. You can refer to https://www.thebts.org/publicstatements/ to see what is currently on the website. We continue to strive to influence Government policy in relation to human and environmental health and promote the science of toxicology.
Links with other Societies: We are grateful to have links with many Societies such as the ACT, BPS, BSTP, IVTS, RSB, RSC, UKEMS and the UK Register of Toxicologists. These links allow us to provide our membership with opportunities to link to offerings with these Societies such as discounts. For further information please visit the BTS website at https://www.thebts.org/join-the-bts/
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): I am pleased to inform the membership that following an EDI training session for the Executive Committee, led by Jo McCarthy Holland and external consultant, an EDI Action Plan has been devised which we will publish on the website in due course. Drs Emma Marczylo and David Mason are leading on this work on behalf of the British Toxicology Society and will be providing some updates on future EDI plans for the Society in the autumn.
The Society is at the forefront for communication, dissemination, integration and education of the diverse field of toxicology within the UK. To maintain the profile of the discipline, and continue facilitation of professional interactions and future development of toxicology capabilities within the UK, the BTS believes it essential to promote equality, value diversity and demonstrate fairness and inclusivity throughout all activities associated with the Society. This relates to, but is not limited to, its committee and sub-committee structures, appointment of trustees of the Society, membership of the Society, award applications, and invitations to chair and/or present at BTS facilitated scientific meetings and associated events. In the context of diversity, equality and inclusion (EDI), the BTS works to ensure that all those associated with the Society are not disadvantaged on the grounds of any of the nine protected characteristics defined in the Equality Act 2010.
Finally, I would like to inform our members that Dr Malcolm Blackwell, who was the Chief Scientific Officer at Sequani, passed away recently due to cancer. Our thoughts are with Annette, his wife, family and colleagues at this very sad time. He will be sorely missed across the Toxicology Community.
Malcolm was a great advocate of the Society joining in the early 1980s. He worked across all levels of Toxicology having started as a University Animal Technician. As a toxicologist Malcolm “came through the ranks” as he used to describe it. He gained a BSc in Biological Sciences and later his PhD. He supported so many of us through our careers. In 2015 at the BTS Congress in Solihull Malcolm provided an interview to our Editorial Team and a comment he made summed up Malcolm for his dedication to the field of toxicology and his support of those entering the discipline. The quote, when Malcolm was asked what advice he would give a graduan entering the world of toxicology, he said, and I quote, “Find the specific field that interests you most and then look for a position that can offer structured training and a clear development framework. It may not be the position that pays the most, but it will set you up for the future. When you have done that start making friends!” He was also a great advocate of training and education. There will be more on the work and contribution made by Malcolm to toxicology and the Society from colleagues at Sequani and will be published on the website in due course.
The BTS is in discussions with Sequani regarding a fitting way to celebrate his life and work. I will provide a further update on this in my September Newsletter.
In addition, the BTS is also looking at a way to celebrate the work and life of Dr Frank Sullivan, who passed away in April this year, and I will provide further updates on what we will be doing in my September Newsletter.
I hope you all have a restful summer and if you would like to contact me, please do so via [email protected]
Professor Shirley Price, President of the BTS