Role of ASTOX
The Society has strongly promoted developments in toxicology in Austria. Its initiative to link research and education in toxicology should be emphasized, which, among other things, led to the establishment of a 3-year toxicology course for postgraduates at the University of Vienna as early as 1993. This highly qualified training as well as training offers for non-toxicologists (students, professionals) have largely eliminated the earlier backlog of toxicological knowledge in Austria. The understanding that toxicological science is essential for the safety of citizens has grown, but needs to be further promoted.
Given the dynamic development of new chemical substances and materials of all kinds and the challenges described above, the need for toxicological research and training has by no means diminished. Historical experience (chemically induced disasters) also illustrates the threats posed by toxicological facility closures. Against this background, it is worrying that the only Austrian professorship for toxicology (at the MUW) has been vacant since 2008, combined with a massive reduction in staff and thus in the teaching and research capacity of the group. The Austrian Society of Toxicology has repeatedly pointed out the dangers of this development to those responsible.