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(It is likely that this name will be changed as it is not a mere documentation centre but a centre from which projects will be created and promoted which arise from problems that can be demonstrated with scientific evidence.)
Documentation Centre aimed at assisting research activities of Doctors for the Environment, and supporting ISDE counselling and educational policies as well, by collecting and organising its environmentally relevant scientific production.
History of the idea
The Canadian President, Dr. Tee L. Guidotti prompted ISDE Vice President, Dr. Elisabet Lindgren to suggest that a specific ISDE editorial activity should be initiated. At the meeting of ISDE Executive Board in Paris (1995), the proposal that the Scientific Office should set up a Documentation Centre was discussed and favourably considered. It was judged that it would provide a working model for the national associations to co-operate.
This project for an ISDE Documentation Centre was then discussed and approved at the Directing Committee's meeting in Cortona (1996), where Peter Van den Hazel, European Vice President, put forward an excellent proposal underlining the need to move from compiling reports and collecting information to making specific proposals leading to effective action.
To foster and activate initiatives and effective actions in response to urgent problems as documented by the reports.
To collect and disseminate original scientific papers (ISDE reports) for the general public, media, government officials, and fellow doctors.
To study environmental decay and its influence on human health..
To stimulate an interaction between the national associations of Doctors for the Environment as well as with qualified national and international bodies.
To support the ISDE School and the ISDE Bulletin.
Each national association of Doctors for the Environment is to identify a field of inquiry (and nominate an appropriate international co-ordinator) for which they will undertake to prepare an original monograph or report. This will provide a basis for defining what initiatives are to be carried out, mainly on a national level.
The report should contain:
The environmental problem. This general introduction will comprise a survey of recent literature on the subject and make clear the international importance of the issue.
Health Hazards. A description of the relationship between the environmental problem and the resulting health problems, especially as regards toxicology and epidemiology. The environmental, epidemiological and normative data related to the individual nation concerned may also be included in a separate appendix.
Preventive and protective action. Recommendations in general terms which would be valid for all countries. This section will also comprise a survey of recent literature (not only medical) on the subject. Reports on national and international legislation (and their implications) on the issue will be also included here.
Advocated Agenda. All that is advisable to include in a long term policy aiming to avert, reduce or contrast the health threat in the long run. Proposals must also be made as to what potential changes in attitudes and behaviour national associations and individual doctors can support acting as social agents.
Format guidelines for the reports are as follows:
The text shall be introduced by an abstract of no more than 25 lines. The total length must not exceed 30 pages including tables, graphs and references which must be up to date and must refer progressively to the numbers cited in the text.
In addition to this document, an informative leaflet should be added.
Ideally, all national associations should be ready to make a contribution to the different problem areas, depending on their current interests and competency in any specific field. Whenever the activity resulting from a national association on a specific issue proves to be particularly distinctive, the national association concerned shall be able to establish an ISDE Specialised Centre (Art.9 of the Scientific Office Regulations). At any time, any national association may expand its field of specific interest as it acquires greater competence in order to provide a scientific contribution and offer proposals on this particular issue.
The person nominated as National reference person should be preferably an acknowledged expert, with good access to and ability to use epidemiological and normative data. This referent will collaborate with the international co-ordinator and will, in particular, be able to supply any relevant information, also including examples of local experiences.
The Scientific Office, through its bodies (the Executive Board, the Scientific Committee, the Presidential Office), is in charge of collecting all the original papers sent by the national referents and forwarding them to the international co-ordinators. It is also in charge of the general co-ordination, supervision and publication of the volume of reports or of the individual reports themselves, and of promoting special training courses which will utilise the reports and have the authors as lecturers.
The activities of ISDE Documentation Centre are to integrated with those of the Working Expertise Group promoted by the ISDE Directing Committee.
Some national ISDE associations have already engaged themselves to prepare original scientific reports on "Water Pollution" (The Netherlands), "Atmospheric Pollution" (Canada), "Health & Sustainability in Cities" (ISDE Scientific Office - Italy), "Traffic and Health" (Austria), "The Right of Children to a Pollution-Free Life" (Italy), "Genetic Manipulation" (Switzerland).
The Directing Committee of each National Association identifies a field of inquiry, the International Co-ordinator and the National Referents for other subjects
Are compiled by the International Co-ordinator with the support of the national referents and the ISDE Scientific Office
Are carried out by the national executives.
ISDE Directing Committee
ISDE Scientific Office
(Executive Board, Scientific Committee, Presidential Office)
The National Associations
The International Co-ordinator
The National Referents
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