SOT Featured Session Spotlight: The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology Symposium

By Laurie Haws posted 02-22-2024 13:36



As part of the SOT Strategic Plan to maximize the Society’s prominence within the scientific community and foster new relationships with other societies, SOT is continuing its collaboration with the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology (AACT) by hosting a Symposium organized with AACT during the upcoming SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. In addition, SOT will select two speakers from the 2024 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo to present their work at the AACT North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology in Denver, Colorado, in September 2024.

Battling Mistrust and Alternative Facts to Communicate Science Effectively

Edward W. Cetaruk

Tuesday, March 12, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

“The Role of Toxicology and the Toxicologists in the Ongoing Debate Regarding Vaccines and Vaccination Safety”
Speaker: Edward W. Ceratuk, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO.

Vaccines are one of the most globally impactful medical advances in the history of human civilization. Vaccine development has transcended decades of advances in infectious disease, public health, epidemiology, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology, and pharmaceutical science research. These scientific disciplines have contributed and collaborated to develop safe and effective vaccines and continually investigate vaccine safety and efficacy. This has been accompanied by ongoing scientific discussion regarding the safety of vaccines and vaccination, leading to public debates in numerous forums. As with any medication, the potential risk of administration must be balanced with the potential benefits. Toxicologists are often called upon to inform these conversations and to interpret scientific literature and the state of the science to answer questions of causation. Topics of discussion will include vaccine formulation, including antigens, excipients, and adjuvants; vaccine injury; and causation analysis of potential adverse effects of vaccines. Past and current vaccine controversies will be discussed.

Dayne Laskey

“Alchemy of Truth: A Clinical Toxicologist’s Guide to Navigating Skepticism in Science Communication”
Dayne Laskey, University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, CT.

Recent decades have seen an extraordinary rise in pseudoscientific thought. An increasing do your own research sentiment has added confusion to public dialogue and sown distrust in scientific institutions. Even if we don’t embrace the claims of alternative remedies, it can be tempting to dismiss them as innocuous and complimentary. But this approach can lead to some surprising consequences. It’s true: placebos can produce real, measurable results, but there also are dangers associated with the failure to distinguish them from effective remedies. Using natural toxins, herbal remedies, and historical anecdotes as a springboard, attendees to this session will learn to identify the hallmarks of science and pseudoscience. These can be challenging to distinguish, even for trained scientists. Topics will include the power of placebos, common logical fallacies, herbal remedies that actually work, and strategies to empower difficult discussions around this topic.