The oldest (1950) organization of toxicologists is the Society of Toxicology (SOT), which includes individuals working for industry, government and and academia. It is a representative of the field of toxicology on national and international levels. Membership is not automatic. It requires evidence of involvement in the field, including scientific publications, and a doctoral degree in an appropriate field.

The American College of Toxicology (ACT) is an organization of toxicologists for which research activity in the field and payment of dues are the major criteria for membership. It awards fellowship status based upon criteria based on productivity and peer recognition.

The American Board of Toxicology provides a relatively rigorous examination that is usually taken by those in the field who work for government, industry or are private consultants. Academics appear to be less likely to sit for this examination as it is not of any particular value for advancement in their profession. Information about board status, including failure to pass the Board, or to be allowed to sit for the Board because of insufficient credentials, should be routinely obtained from any expert in a toxic tort case.

American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Canadian Society of Forensic Science

Codes of Ethics Collections

"On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research--Publication and Openness"

"On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research--Misconduct in Science, 3 rd ed. $14.95"

Today, more than two dozen prominent scientists, including two former editors of the "New England Journal of Medicine" and a former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, sent a letter to editors of Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and 200 other scientific journals, urging them to strengthen their policies concerning disclosure of conflicts of interest.

The Integrity in Science project seeks to safeguard science and the public welfare from the corruptive effects of industry's influence. Conflicts of interest or "competing interests" can affect everything from government policies to scientific research to news stories. Thus, identifying and disclosing conflicts of interest, in matters related to health and the environment is a major component of the project. February, 2002

Additional Resources:

Dubowski, K. M.; "The role of the scientist in litigation involving drug-use testing," CLINICAL CHEMISTRY (1988) 34 (4): 788-92. (Discusses professional society memberships and educational background.)


Hollien, H.; "The expert witness: ethic and responsibilities," JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES (1990), 35 (6): 1414-23.

Mario, John R., " A review of Anglo-American forensic professional codes of ethics with considerations for code design," FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL (2002), 125 (2-3): 103-112.

Matson, Jack V., EFFECTIVE EXPERT WITNESSING, second edition, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida, c1994, 210p.

Saks, M. J.; "Accuracy v. advocacy: expert testimony before the bench," TECHNOLOGY REVIEW (1987), 90 (6); 42-9. (Instead of asking an expert witness to show that many people find the knowledge valid, the expert simply presents his or her case regarding the evidence.)

Slap, A. J.;

, M.; "Are forensic experts an endangered species?" JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES ( 1991), 36 ( 3): 714-721. (Judges and juries sometimes can be misled by the expert for hire. The lure of high fees serving as an expert witness in some cases has, however, created professional witnesses whose scientific views are often far outside the mainstream.)

updated 12/21/16