Dear British Society for Immunology members,
With some trepidation, I have decided to stand down as BSI President at the end of 2018. This is not because it’s not enjoyable (I do enjoy it enormously!) but because I think five years is long enough for one person to be at the helm. The Society needs someone with fresh perspective to come forward and the high-point of the weeks after our fantastic Brighton Congress seems the right time to be looking for a successor.
I have really enjoyed being able to meet many of you at national and regional meetings, promoting the BSI’s many activities and working with Jo Revill, our CEO, and the rest of the BSI team to develop our work on policy, media and public engagement. Some of my personal highlights have been helping to hire new members of the team, moving to new premises, celebrating our 60th anniversary at the Royal Society, and more recently, launching a wonderful survey and report on immunology careers. I think this work will be pivotal in helping to make the case for funding and jobs, both of which are essential if the field is to continue to thrive.
The Trustees of the BSI do a great job in setting the strategic direction of the Society and overseeing its affairs, working with the staff to ensure that we listen and respond to you, the membership. The BSI's Forum is excellent at bringing new ideas forward, working closely with the Trustees.
There will now be an election for President. If any of you are interested in standing and would like to talk to me about what’s involved, don’t hesitate to get in touch. As with all elections, it’s important that we have a range of candidates from different backgrounds and representing different constituencies, and that every member feels their vote counts. And it does – sometimes elections at the BSI are carried by a single vote.
I intend to stand down formally at our AGM in December 2018, so there will be some time for a proper hand-over. The process begins at the end of February with nominations and a new President will be announced on 7 May.
Thank you for the enormous privilege of allowing me to lead the Society – it really is a genuine pleasure to do so.
Happy Christmas to you all.
President, British Society for Immunology
Peter Openshaw has served as British Society for Immunology President since 2014 and we would like to extend our huge thanks to him for all his dedication and hard work in this role. He has steered the Society through a period of considerable change to set us on our current path with a bright future ahead and a strategic plan that allows us to expand our activities for members and to represent immunology effectively to the wider world. The BSI looks forward to working with Peter over the coming year to build on our achievements and bring on board a successor to take our work forward.
The nominations for President, along with a number of other vacancies on BSI Committees, will open in February 2018. BSI members will then be able to vote for their preferred candidates for these positions during April 2018, with the successful candidates announced on 7 May. Further information will follow in the new year, but any informal enquiries can be sent to our Committees Officer, Angela Rausch.