David L. Eaton is the recipient of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2014 Public Communications Award. Dr. Eaton is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Dean and Vice Provost of the Graduate School at the University of Washington (UW), in Seattle, Washington. He also has served as the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) P30 Center for Ecogenetics & Environmental Health at the UW since 1995, and currently Chairs the Research Committee of the Health Effects Institute.
Dr. Eaton has and continues to communicate understanding of toxicology to a broad community of non-toxicologists. He has served as an ambassador of Toxicology in many circles and helped to promote the standing of toxicology and environmental health sciences throughout the world. In addition to his many scientific contributions, Dr. Eaton was one of the pioneers in recognizing the importance of disseminating the message of toxicology to the public and launched one of the first community outreach and education programs in environmental health in the nation.
Dr. Eaton has authored 115 peer–reviewed publications and 40 book chapters, including the "Principles of Toxicology" chapters in Casarett and Doull’s Toxicology, Rosenstock and Cullen’s Textbook of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Sipes, McQueen et al. Comprehensive Toxicology series. Relevant to this award, he has an additional 17 general education articles that target audiences outside of Toxicology. He reached out to the legal community providing presentations to law students and has publications directly relevant to lawyers. Some attorneys and judges tout Dr. Eaton’s article “Scientific judgment and toxic torts: A primer in toxicology for judges and lawyers” as the definitive source on adjudicating expert testimony and determining whether acceptable scientific practices have been followed in tort cases. He has served on numerous National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committees, helping to communicate scientific advice to federal agencies and organizations, often related to controversial areas in toxicology.
Dr. Eaton has been very active in the leadership of the SOT. Appropriately, he first began as a member of the Committee on Public Communications. From there he served on various committees including the Membership and Finance as well as the Board of Publications. In addition, he has been a member of many other advisory boards, task forces, and working groups. He received the SOT Achievement Award in 1993. He has the distinction of having served on the Society’s Council as SOT Secretary and 2001–2002 SOT President. Dr. Eaton has been a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences since 2000 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2003. He was recently elected to the Washington Academy of Sciences and in 2011 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
The Society is pleased to present Dr. Eaton with the 2014 Public Communications Award.