2017 SOT Eminent Toxicologist Lecture Series—Interconnections Between Human Health and Ecological Integrity

Lecturer: William H. Benson, PhD, Fellow AAAS of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What makes a career in environmental toxicology rewarding? In this lecture, Dr. Benson answers this question by discussing the value of working in a team, mentoring, and conducting the right science for the right purpose. He outlines important environmental and scientific challenges for the 21st century, using the specific example of predicting chemical risk with limited in silico, in vitro and/or in vivo data. The Adverse Outcome Pathway Model is offered as an example framework for relating the molecular initiating event of a chemical across the continuum of molecular, cellular, and physiological perturbations to facilitate risk assessment. Finally, a conceptual model approach of general wellbeing is provided to highlight the interconnections between ecological and human health, including potential positive and negative outputs of the natural and social systems. Throughout the lecture the importance of communicating science to the general public and the need for community involvement in regulatory decision making is highlighted.