Skip to main content

60 years of the British Society for Immunology

2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the British Society for Immunology.  We have a number of activities planned, centred around the key date of 11 October. We hope that as many as of you as possible are able to join in celebrating this important milestone for our Society.

BSI 60th Anniversary Lecture: The changing face of research

18:00 – 19:30, Tuesday 11 October 2016
Royal Society, London, UK

Join us in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the British Society for Immunology as we explore how biomedical research has changed over the past 60 years and where it may lead us in the future

Peter Openshaw When a small group of immunologists founded the British Society for Immunology 60 years ago, they could hardly have foreseen the explosion of knowledge that would follow. So much has changed: the technology, the nature of research, the levels of insight and the financial investment in making each new discovery. Throughout this period, the BSI has remained a constant force in the life of its members, encouraging and supporting the study of immunology and helping us to share and discuss ideas. Despite all these changes and progress, so much about the immune system remains a mystery. We have an exciting future.

As a member, you are the lifeblood of the BSI. I hope you will join us in marking our 60th Anniversary by attending a very special event, and now formally invite you to the BSI’s 60th anniversary lecture and drinks reception.

I will be joined on stage by Professor Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Professor Fiona Powrie, Director of the Kennedy Institute at Oxford University to discuss: 'The changing face of medical research'.

We will examine how biomedical research has evolved over the past 60 years, from self-experimentation that would be unimaginable today, to big data and global collaboration. We anticipate a lively debate and stimulating discussion between our speakers and the audience, all chaired by Professor Adam Hart (author and broadcaster), so please bring your reminiscences and predictions of the future to what will undoubtedly be a memorable event.

The event is free and will take place at the Royal Society, London at 18:00 on Tuesday 11 October. I hope you are able to join us. We anticipate that this will be a popular event, so please reserve your place now.

With best wishes

Professor Peter Openshaw
President, British Society for Immunology

Immunology: the past, present and future

Glowing cancer cell

The UK currently ranks first amongst the G7 for the quality of our research in infection and immunology. At the BSI, we want to use our 60th anniversary to celebrate the breadth and depth of immunological research in this country and beyond.  More than that, we want to engage with Government, decision makers and funders to tell the story of just how important immunological research is to the life sciences, patient care and the economy.  Ensuring that immunology, in all its rich diversity, is appreciated and understood provides us with a much stronger platform to advocate on the key issues that affect both our members and the discipline as a whole as well as the health and wellbeing of the public.

To do this, we have commissioned a report to discuss key areas where immunology has and will have a significant impact in our understanding of human and animal biology, our ability to treat and even cure common diseases, and our capacity to deal with emerging threats on a global scale.  We will launch this publication on Tuesday 11 October at our anniversary lecture.  We hope this will prove an enjoyable read for you and will have a big impact on our ability to show how important immunology research is all sectors of society as a public good.

Immunology has the ability to make a difference and we want everyone to know this!

Immunology in 60 objects

The discipline of immunology has a long and proud history, but if you had to pick 60 items to tell the story of immunological research through the ages, what would you choose

The BSI has tried to answer this with our ‘Immunology in 60 Objects’ project. Each object has been suggested by a BSI member to tell the tale of a specific discovery, new technique or step change in thinking in our wonderful discipline. 

From October onwards, we will release one object per day to chart the tale of immunology from Edward Jenner’s discovery of the smallpox vaccine right up to the present day.  We really hope that you, as our members, will again get involved with this project when launched, helping us to publicise to a wide audience and giving us your feedback on the items chosen.

Keep an eye on our website for more details and follow #60objects.