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Your Society: Important news about Pharmacology 2020 and COVID-19

Published: 18 Jun 2020
Category: Your Society
By Rachel Lambert-Forsyth

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Over the last three months as lockdown kicked in, and we all sought to maintain connections with friends, family, and colleagues, virtual platforms have been at the forefront of keeping conversations flowing. We have been playing our part, launching our BPS Community, a brand new online space for our members to connect, collaborate and keep in touch. I hope you have had a chance to take a look around and perhaps even joined a network or get involved in a forum discussion, if not we would love to see you there.

The planning and development of the BPS Community was well under way before COVID-19 struck, but in the wake of the pandemic, we have realised that the platform has an even bigger role to play in bringing us together, albeit virtually.

As well as keeping us in touch with colleagues that we are distanced from, and helping us to make new connections, it is also a great way to share experiences and ideas. We would particularly like to encourage our members to share stories about what you have been doing during this time to support the effort against COVID-19. We also want to know how your work might have changed if you have not been able to undertake research as normal, and how studying has changed. Your stories will inform how we adapt and evolve to meet your changing needs and requirements.

I encourage you to do this on the online BPS Community, but also, if you feel comfortable, to share those experiences more widely on Twitter. This could take the form of a short video, or a photo with your thoughts, using #PharmacologistsAndCovid and using our account tag @BritPharmSoc.

If you have a story or experience that you would like to talk about in more detail, you can contact us with an idea for the Society blog. Dr Steve Tucker recently shared this blog as an excellent example, explaining how pharmacology education has changed during the pandemic, and how educators have adapted.

While we have been able to continue serving our community, COVID-19 has of course changed work streams across the Society. Our staff team continues to work from home, and many of our operational areas have had to respond to the ever-changing situation. This includes the development of new policy positions and the upcoming publication of COVID-19 themed issues of the British Journal of Pharmacology and British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Our meetings and events have been some of our most-affected activities, and along with many other organisations, we have had to cancel, postpone, or amend our plans to keep everyone safe. However today, I am delighted to bring you an update about our annual meeting, Pharmacology 2020. We have been carefully planning for different scenarios, and we recently asked for your feedback on different ways of running the event.

 As a result, we have decided to develop Pharmacology 2020 into a virtual meeting. We are working on an exciting multi-day online event made up of scientific sessions, interactive workshops and social activities. We hope that running the meeting in this way will not only allow us to gather our pharmacology family and share your science as we do every year, but that it will bring our annual meeting and your science to an even wider audience around the world. We look forward to inviting you to this special version of Pharmacology 2020 and seeing you all again next year, as we are planning a vibrant meetings calendar for 2021.

 

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