Reflections in Toxicology
As part of CREATE Human and Ecological Risk Assessment programs, graduate colleagues (who are largely doctoral candidates), are required to take a course in Human Health Chemical Risk Assessment which focussed on how one assesses the risk to humans from chemical exposures. During this course, students select a toxicological topic of interest and then reflect on this topic in light of the following key issues:
a) Uncertainty associated with the data and interpretation.
b) Differing viewpoints on the risks and benefits of the toxicological topic.
In my opinion, reflections are a key component of a professional’s practice. Reflecting on a subject and integrating with one’s own practice, not only improves one professional practice but also improves ones ethical decision making. Toxicologists and risk assessors are continuous asked to make decisions based on the best available science. Often there is not nearly enough information as one would like but nevertheless, decisions have to be made. These reflections provide a forum for graduate colleagues to explore an issue and hear from their peers about issues in toxicology that are controversial.
As a Director of CREATE HERA, I invite you to read these reflections. I found them to be of the highest quality and provide a nuanced viewpoint on controversial issues. Finally, I would like to thank my colleague, Professor Kleefeld, who introduced me to reflections and their importance in the training of legal professionals. Until I met Professor Kleefeld, I would never have expected reflections to be so effective in training scientists as well.