Understanding Pathways to a Paradigm Shift in Toxicity Testing and Decision Making

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November 20-21, 2017

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center, Room 100
500 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC


Advances in the environmental health sciences – from high-throughput cell-based in vitro studies to tissue chips to environment-wide association studies – have led to new approaches to understanding the toxicity of chemicals in humans.  These new approaches are faster, less expensive, and potentially more comparable to real-life human exposures than legacy animal toxicity testing approaches. However, many questions remain about whether and how to make the paradigm shift to using new data streams as the basis for the wide array of research, policy, and regulatory decisions.

This workshop explored key factors that influence how scientists, policymakers, risk assessors, and regulators incorporate new science into their decisions. Participants discussed empirical social science evidence on issues such as perceptions on the type and quantity of data that is “sufficient” for different types of decisions  and trust in decisions influenced by new types of data. Case studies from different decision contexts were used to investigate key considerations and questions about what builds confidence in new scientific approaches among members of the environmental health community.

Workshop Organizing Committee: John Bucher, National Toxicology Program; Stanley Barone, Environmental Protection Agency; Kevin Elliott, Michigan State University; Gary Ginsberg, Connecticut Department of Public Health; Melissa Perry*, George Washington University; Kristi Pullen Fedinick, Natural Resources Defense Council; Jennifer McPartland, Environmental Defense Fund; Patrick McMullen, CitoVation; Heather Patisaul, North Carolina State University; John Vandenberg, Environmental Protection Agency.

Staff Lead: Andrea Hodgson, Board on Life Sciences

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