From March 11–15, 2018 thousands of toxicologists will converge on the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas for the 57th Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology. It is impressive to think that scientists were gathering to establish the Society and expanding a new field of science before the majority of our members were even born. Among those founders was John Doull (1922–2017), whose life work is memorialized in this issue of the Journal (Klaassen, 2018). As part of the Journal’s 20th Anniversary we also have articles that look back on major advances in the field, as well as look forward to future challenges (Costa, 2018; Mendrick, 2018; Meyer 2018; Wallace, 2018). As I reflect back on the last time we met in San Antonio for the 52nd Annual Meeting in 2013, I recall 2 ideas that began germinating at that meeting. The first was me contemplating the possibility of applying to be the editor of Toxicological Sciences. The second was writing my first book. In fact, I distinctly recall several face-to-face meetings in San Antonio with key individuals that shaped the outcomes of both of those ideas. Without the assemblage brokered by the SOT Annual Meeting of minds that traveled near and far, those encounters would not have occurred. Meetings were following by quiet reflection, much of that occurring as I rambled alongside the River Walk. In a state where water can be scarce, the engineered river is a welcomed site and a reminder of humankind’s ability to deliver resources where they are needed. Six months later the first draft of the book was complete and I was drinking water from the proverbial fire hose that was the editor’s desk of this outstanding journal. The River Walk in San Antonio elicits the feelings common when one is near the water, reminding us of the historical importance of rivers in human development. Before cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes, most of our trade and supply chains were dependent on our ability to navigate rivers and seas. The world has relied on rivers for commerce and the surrounding areas for population booms prior to the Industrial Revolution. The flowing river is symbolic of what we are attempting to do at our Annual Meeting. There is a flow of ideas and organisms converging much like the tributaries that feed into rivers. Scientists and trainees with their new data and ideas gather to share and exchange information in a manner similar to the churning that occurs when tributaries merge into fast-moving rivers. The biologist in me cannot help thinking about the commonalities between the flow of rivers with the flow of blood: venules to veins, veins to vena cava, to the heart, lungs, and back before the journey though the aorta, arteries, arterioles, and capillaries continues. Along those biological by-ways, essential nutrients and gasses are transported, distributed, and exchanged throughout the system. These complex networks that sustain life and their fractal geometry are strikingly similar to how water traverses the globe and serves similar purposes. As we gather in San Antonio, don’t forget to think deeply about how your science impacts society. Regardless of who is in charge of making funding and policy decisions, it is incumbent upon us as scientists to advance knowledge that is free from bias, both corporate and personal. We must strive to generate reproducible and sound science that provides decision makers with the information necessary to protect people and our environment from undue harm. Use the time spent at the SOT Annual meeting to re-evaluate your scientific goals and objectives, germinate your own ideas as to what your next step will be, and meet your esteemed colleagues who can help shape your future! San Antonio presents an amazing combination of culture, history, and cuisine. From learning about the history of the southern border of the United States at the Alamo to enjoying the unmistakable TexMex flavors served all over town, the city provides an outstanding venue for our scientific gathering. And remember, don’t mess with Texas. REFERENCES Costa L. ( 2018). Organophosphorus compounds at 80: some old and new issues. Toxicol. Sci 162, 24– 35. Klaassen C. ( 2018). The life and times of John Doull. Toxicol. Sci . 162, 5– 11. Mendrick D., Diehl A. M., Topor L., Dietert R., Will Y., La Merrill M., Bouret S., Varma V., Hastings K., Schug T., et al. ( 2018). Metabolic syndrome and associated diseases: From the bench to the clinic. Toxicol. Sci . 162, 36– 42. Meyer J., Hartmana J. H., Melloa D. F. ( 2018). Mitochondrial Toxicity. Toxicol. Sci . 162, 15– 23. Wallace K. ( 2018). Historical Perspective of Mitochondria in the Toxicological Sciences. Toxicol. Sci . 162, 12– 14. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toxicological Sciences – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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