About the Society of Forensic Toxicologists

Our Mission

SOFT is a professional scientific community committed to the advancement of forensic toxicology through collaboration, education, professional development, and promotion of research in the interest of justice and public health.

Our Vision

Elevating justice and public health through excellence in forensic toxicology.

History of SOFT

In 1970, a group of forensic toxicologists in the Nassau County Medical Examiner's Office, headed by the late Abe Freireich, felt there was a need for an informal gathering of toxicologists between the annual meetings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The first meeting was held in October 1970, at Long Island, NY and was referred to as the "Interim Toxicology Meeting". It was an auspicious occasion. Several prominent forensic toxicologists attended that first meeting, and one entire afternoon was spent discussing "Head Space Analysis of Volatiles". So much benefit and useful information was derived from this meeting that it was agreed by the attendees that this type of meeting should occur on an annual basis each fall to discuss whatever topics were pertinent at that particular time. Informal meetings continued for two more years, and then a turning point occurred at the Philadelphia meeting in 1973. At this meeting, much discussion was generated about the formal organization of this unstructured group of toxicologists. The attendees believed that an organized group could do more to promote the cause of forensic toxicology, advance education, and ensure knowledgeable input into standards governing the profession. In 1974, the newly elected president, Dr. Jane Speaker, conducted the first formal meeting of SOFT in Chapel Hill, N.C. Since that time, SOFT has established a charter, published a newsletter, funded and awarded Education Research Awards to deserving students, given many workshops for the continuing education of its members, and established a website. The organization became officially incorporated in 1983 with full tax-exempt status. Although the Society is now officially organized, SOFT hopes to retain the flavor and atmosphere of that first informal gathering of toxicologists in Long Island for the express purpose of promoting understanding and goodwill among those in our chosen profession.