Submitted by Phil Wexler
SOT’s wildly popular (and just plain wild) Tox ShowDown quiz game this year drew an audience of over 100 toxicologists foaming at the mouth to see teams of their colleagues cut down to size by a series of withering questions.
With “11th hour” replacements filling in for three of the original contestants, and a new Judge (Ed Ohanian, replacing Harry Salem, who had to cancel just days before the event), we cannot declare that the ShowDown went on without a hitch, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sponsored by the Graduate Student Leadership Committee (GSLC) this is a game where we expect the unexpected.
While the Endocrine Disruptors (Sarah Lacher, Gary Marchant, Judith T. Zelikoff) and the Toxic Metabolites (Mary Beth Genter, Prathap Kumar, Bill Mattes) put up a good fight, it was the Free Radicals (Traci Brown, Christine Curran, Josh Gray) who emerged from the mayhem as the uncontested winning team (see photo below). Sue Ford’s timekeeping skills were challenged by a timer with its own mind. Holly Hewitt strived to keep score while juggling a rainbow of colored markers. GSLC Secretary Alessandro Venosa struggled valiantly with an uppity laptop. The dusty legal skills of our judge Ed Ohanian were put to the test, and he just squeaked by, we think. The sometime-sober moderator, Phil Wexler, barraged the contestants with questions from hell.
Free Radicals (from left to right: Traci Brown, Christine Curran, Josh Gray)
An array of toxicology books (thanks to the generous donations of publishers, Elsevier and Taylor and Francis) were distributed as prizes to all the contestants and the members of the winning team also came away with $75 worth of gift cards. Books and DVDs on the theme of water were presented to the Judge (who helps lead US EPA’s Office of Water).
Endocrine Disruptors (from left to right: Sarah Lacher, Gary Marchant, Judith T. Zelikoff)
Several lucky audience members also received books as door prizes and the grand door prize winner, Dahea You, found herself the recipient of an Amazon Kindle Fire, donated by Elsevier.
Toxic Metabolites (from left to right: Mary Beth Genter, Prathap Kumar, Bill Mattes)
It is not too early to volunteer to be a contestant next year in San Diego. Yes, good sense notwithstanding, we’re doing it again, folks. One naive SOT member already has committed (or should that be has been committed?). Please send expressions of interest to the GSLC Tox ShowDown organizers.
Tox ShowDown experience is just the boost your CV needs.