For a long time, there was a great disconnect between the science community and the public. As an industry, science was inaccessible to the average lay person and great scientific advancements were often accepted without challenge or question by the public, simply because the effort was not made to spread knowledge on scientific topics.
However, in recent history the interface between science and the public has taken a positive turn. Seeing as science and health is crucially important to everyone, we should all have the opportunity to explore and discuss these topics. This understanding has resulted in an explosion in the field of scientific communications, with science now publicised in the news on a daily basis and more and more scientific television and radio programmes being produced globally. Public engagement in science is crucially important to keep the public aware of issues that affect them personally and to gain their support in tackling some of health greatest challenges.
Organisations such as the BSI, seek to raise awareness and understanding of the role of immunology in our lives. The BSI does this by providing resources, volunteering opportunities and organising events. We provide media training and communication grants to aid our scientific members in translating their own research to the public. 2016 marks the start of a new BSI Strategic Plan, with one of our objectives being to increase public engagement in order to continue bridging the gap between science and the public and to ensure there is never again a great disconnect.