Published on: 16-06-2018
Dear TIAFT Members,
In a famous scene from The Wizard of Oz, Toto reveals the true identity of the "Great and Powerful Oz" as a mild-mannered man pulling on control levers and turning the wheels that operate a grander figure. Later this man explains to Dorothy and her companions: "Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called … Good Deed Doers."
TIAFT has its own "Good Deed Doer" who works behind the scenes operating the levers and wheels. I am speaking of our webmaster, Gianpaolo Brusini.
As a 25-year member of TIAFT, few can claim to have volunteered more time to advancing the organization than Gianpaolo. He initially joined TIAFT as a toxicologist interested in the collaboration and education opportunities that the association offered and because of his side interest in the then new “world wide web”, Gianpaolo served on the newly established Internet Committee and developed TIAFT's first website in 1996. While the committee has changed names and expanded its mission a number of times since then, Gianpaolo has remained a fixture on the committee the entire time and has served as TIAFT's only webmaster.
This is particularly impressive because Gianpaolo is no longer a practicing toxicologist – in fact he hasn't been one for about six years. Today he owns a small business called Bibibus (www.bibibus.com) that specializes in web and digital design for the arts and sciences. He could have easily stepped down from serving as TIAFT's webmaster many years ago. Or he could have charged TIAFT for his services. Instead, Gianpaolo continues to work behind the scenes, volunteering his time, and ensuring that TIAFT members, as well as those interested in the organization, have a professional, up-to-date website to reference. And my personal experience is that he is amazingly responsive to the needs of TIAFT, often addressing our requests within hours of them being made! With over 8500 unique visitors to the tiaft.org domain so far this year, I thought it would be appropriate to use my message for this month to acknowledge TIAFT's very own "wizard". Yes, Gianpaolo is certainly a "Good Deed Doer", but I prefer to think of him as the "Wizard of Awes".
Marc LeBeau, PhD
Screenshot from The Wizard of Oz (1939).