Dr. Andrew Maynard, professor of environmental health sciences and director of the U-M risk science center, has received the 2015 Public Communications Award from the Society of Toxicology (SOT). In announcing the award, SOT President Norman Kaminski said, “In order for scientific discovery and research to have a true impact on public, animal, and environmental health, it often must be communicated to and understood by a non-scientific audience. Dr. Andrew Maynard excels at this, which is why we are honored to present him with the 2015 SOT Public Communications Award. Dr. Maynard’s use of videos, social media, and other techniques have made risk assessment relevant and comprehensible to thousands, helping increase knowledge of and understanding of the importance of toxicology to public health.” Professor Maynard is the creator and producer of “risk bites,” a series of 2-5 minute videos that presents evidence-based science of risk on a variety of topics ranging from “Should I get a flu shot?” to “Are cell phones bad for your health?” Using appealing graphics, clever examples, and easy-to-understand language, risk bites presents evidence-based risk science. Available on YouTube, “Risk Bites” has more than 3,200 subscribers.
Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,700 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad. The SOT awards program recognizes and assists distinguished toxicologists and students each year based on merit, and supports the Society’s mission to create a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology.