President's blog: Your Society - The importance of connection
Read the latest blog from Society President, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed:
As the season shifts from winter to spring in the UK, many of us are looking forward to the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and the chance to connect, as per Government guidelines, with family and friends face to face again. At the Society, we have worked hard throughout the COVID-19 crisis to make sure that our members have been able to stay in touch, no matter where we are in the world or what types of local restrictions are in place.
With that said, meeting in person is such a valuable experience that I know so many of us have missed. If you are new to the Society, you have some wonderful experiences to look forward to when you attend your first face-to-face meeting and make connections that will last a lifetime. In 2021, we will be continuing to offer virtual spaces to gather while monitoring the situation carefully, with a view to meeting in person as soon as it is safe, and regulations allow.
In the meantime, we have a range of exciting events and activities coming up this year that you can join from your own home. For some of these we have teamed up with other organisations, to bring exciting new science to as wide an audience as possible. In May we are joining the Biochemical Society and Physiological Society for the International Symposium on Reproductive Health, part of the Early Career Life Scientists’ Symposium. In June our joint meeting with the Society for Medicines Research takes place, on Current Trends in Drug Discovery - this is a must-see for early career researchers with an interest in this area. And later in June, we are co-hosting Translating Ideas into Therapies with our strategic partners ELRIG UK, looking at how our communities are rising to address the challenges of the increasingly complex biology underlying new drug concepts.
After the great success of our online annual meeting in 2020, we are excited to be creating another virtual space for Pharmacology 2021 in September. This is an excellent opportunity to either strengthen or forge those connections and friendships that will carry through to when we next meet, and to showcase your research. Abstract submission is open until 21 May 2021.
Our training events are fantastic for focusing on particular topics that you want to learn more about, and as these are held in smaller groups, they also facilitate discussion, sharing of ideas and meeting new people. For now we are offering these online – the first being on 21 April and looking at Pharmacogenomics in Drug Development – and we hope that later in the year we may be able to offer face-to-face training once again.
Times continue to be difficult for many of us in relation to the pandemic, which is at different stages in different parts of the world. It has been heartening to see the success of the vaccination programme here in the UK, and as vaccines are rolled out around the world, we will hopefully be able to meet again. I look forward to seeing you at one of our events online, and in person before too long.