The Science Liaison Coalition (SLC) is thriving in large part due to the addition of several new societies, active and productive working groups, and engaged representatives from our member societies. The vigor of the SLC would not have been possible without the contributions of those who previously served as Chair and laid a strong foundation from which the current success has grown.
The monthly SLC teleconference meetings have recently incorporated including a brief 3-minute update from 2–3 individual member societies per meeting on a rotating basis; this is in addition to updates from four active working groups (Big Data, Gene Editing, Occupational Exposures, and Science & Risk Communication). The Science & Risk Communication group has also undertaken updating the SLC website content and format to be more interactive and sustainable. The SLC also continues its support of the Future Tox series of meetings with Future Tox V scheduled to occur in November 2021 after being delayed due to the global pandemic.
Looking to the future, the SLC and its member societies have learned, as a matter of necessity, valuable lessons on how to better construct active engagement using virtual platforms. Many of those lessons are anticipated to become part of meeting planning for both virtual and in-person events, with the inevitability of more hybrid events. I see better coordination between societies and research organizations as another worthy goal for the SLC in addressing cross-cutting topics (e.g., Using Big Data with application of FAIR—Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable—data principles). If we can properly sequence activities and events where mutual interests exist, we can expedite overall progress for the scientific enterprise with lower costs for each contributor.
Finally, I am optimistic for the future of the SLC and for its ability to better serve member societies, in service to commonly held scientific principles and the pursuit of knowledge.
George M. Woodall Jr., PhD
Chair (2021–2022), Science Liaison Coalition