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A Message to IRIS Program Stakeholders: We Want to Hear From You!

2014 June 25

By Kacee Deener

IRIS graphic identifierIn July 2013, EPA announced enhancements to our Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program to improve the scientific foundation of assessments, increase transparency, and improve productivity. Stakeholder engagement is an essential part of the enhancements, and since announcing them, we have held bimonthly public meetings to discuss scientific issues related to preliminary assessment materials and draft IRIS assessments. We announce these meetings well in advance on the IRIS website, and we publicly release any relevant materials about two months before the meeting is held. We also identify specific scientific issues related to the chemicals we are assessing.

Did you know that anyone can participate in these meetings? You can register to participate as a discussant on a specific scientific issue identified by EPA, or you can identify one of your own. Likewise, you can participate in the meetings more generally (i.e., not sign up for a specific scientific topic, but participate during discussion and open forum sessions). We don’t put together an invited panel for these meetings, and the agenda reflects those individuals who requested to participate in the scientific discussions.

IRIS meeting in a large conference room

EPA holds a public IRIS meeting.

We realize that you can never do too much where communication is concerned, so we use a variety of ways to publicize the meetings. They are announced on the IRIS website and through the IRIS Listserv and Human Health Risk Assessment research program bulletins, which reach more than 7,000 people combined. If you’re not on these lists, please sign up! We also use various social media platforms, including Twitter (follow IRIS and other EPA research on Twitter @EPAresearch).

We know that getting different perspectives on scientific issues is important, and we are exploring additional ways to reach out to scientists and other individuals who might be interested in participating in our meetings and contributing to the IRIS process.

We recognize that not all of our stakeholders have the resources to travel to a meeting. Because of that, for the past year and a half, every IRIS public meeting has also been available by webinar. We’ve also made some recent changes so that webinar participants can more fully engage in our meetings, including using telephone connections that allow webinar participants to actively participate in discussions.

EPA’s IRIS Program works on behalf of the American people, and anyone is welcome to add their voice to the conversation. We welcome your ideas about how to expand public access to and engagement in IRIS activities. We also welcome your input about how to obtain additional perspectives on the complex scientific issues that are discussed at IRIS bimonthly public science meetings. Join the conversation today by commenting on this blog post or sending us your ideas through the IRIS general comments docket.

As always, we want to hear from you!

About the Author: Kacee Deener is the Communications Director in EPA’s National Center for Environmental Assessment.  She joined EPA 13 years ago and has a Masters degree in Public Health.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Asteroid Miner permalink
    June 27, 2014

    1. Stakeholders: You mean only wealthy people are “stakeholders.” That is what it turns out to be every time the government uses that word. QUIT using the word “stakeholders.” Every living thing on this planet is a “stakeholder.”

    “They are announced on the IRIS website and through the IRIS Listserv and Human Health Risk Assessment research program bulletins, which reach more than 7,000 people combined.”

    7,000 people out of 400 million citizens. Abysmal.

    “We recognize that not all of our stakeholders have the resources to travel to a meeting.”
    Right.

    “webinar”: Webinars only work on brand new computers with high speed connections. That excludes me. Having to connect at the right moment also excludes me. Cancel webinars and meetings and stick to email and 10 year old internet browsers.

  2. Asteroid Miner permalink
    June 27, 2014

    “To improve the scientific foundation of assessments, increase transparency, and improve productivity,” Make James Hansen president and Mike Mann vice president. Make the contributors to RealClimate.org senators. Better yet, make James Hansen the dictator.

    Your premise is nonsense. You are doing nothing of the kind. You are creating an opportunity for the plutocrats to hijack science.

    You know very well who the scientists are. They work for NASA and NOAA and universities. You have a government agency devoted to advising the government on science. I think it is called the National Science Council or something like that.

    Add Aiguo Dai and Barton Paul Levenson. Reference: “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan and “Collapse” by Jared Diamond.

    Here is the risk. It is infinite: We humans will go EXTINCT by 2060. The probability increases with every day of delay. What you have to do:
    1. Shut down the coal industry world wide.
    2. Shut down the rest of the fossil fuel industry worldwide.

    As you know, the only energy source that can replace fossil fuels with currently available technology is nuclear fission.

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