I am pleased to announce a new partnership that has recently been formed between the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the US Department of the Interior (DOI). Specifically, the Society will be assisting the DOI’s Strategic Sciences Group.
The Strategic Sciences Group was formed by Secretarial Order 3188 on January 3, 2012, with a mission “to provide the Department of the Interior (Department) with science-based assessments and interdisciplinary scenarios of environmental crises affecting Departmental resources; rapidly assemble trained teams of scientists to conduct such work during environmental crises; and provide the results of this work to the Secretary and Departmental leadership to support decision-making during crises.”
To ensure that its recommendations represent the breadth of science issues that emerge during environmental crises, the Strategic Sciences Group is partnering with government agencies, associations, nonprofit societies, and others to establish a mechanism by which a uniquely qualified team of experts can be assembled rapidly in the event of an environmental crisis.
The partnership is simple: When an environmental crisis occurs and the DOI determines that an expert science working group is needed, the Strategic Sciences Group will reach out to its partners to secure a list of vetted, recommended experts. These individuals will then be contacted by the Strategic Sciences Group to participate in the rapid response working group. As described by the Strategic Sciences Group, these working teams are not first-responders at the spot of the crisis, but instead are assembled to develop a long-range view and recommendations regarding animal, human, and environmental health concerns that may arise from the crisis.
SOT Council felt that this work strongly coincides with SOT’s mission, which is why we agreed to become a Strategic Sciences Group partner and anticipate a fruitful collaboration.