It certainly has been a difficult time for everyone over the last year and, in particular, these last few months with the introduction of circuit breakers, tiers and full lockdowns due to the current pandemic. This, together with the clocks going back and daylight hours getting increasingly shorter the news does seem to be full of doom and gloom. However with the news of vaccines on the horizon to treat COVID-19 there is something positive to look forward to in 2021.
I wanted to use this Newsletter to also promote some positivity for our members. I am delighted to report that the BTS is buzzing with energy and looking at how we can meet the needs of our members. Among some of the ways we are working with the membership is through:
- providing a Members’ Survey to give all members an opportunity to have their say in the running of the Society;
- providing more opportunities to link to virtual webinars provided by our Speciality Sections;
- signposting our members to a range of courses, webinars and opportunities of vacancies on scientific and government committees;
- supporting Toxicology Research, our Society Journal;
- reaching out to other Societies to see how we can all work together to support the Scientific Community and
- working on finalising the 2021 Annual Congress.
As a reminder the 2021 Annual Congress will be held at Voco® St David’s, Cardiff from the 12-14 April 2021, so if you have not already done do please consider registering for the Annual Congress. The Annual Congress will provide a variety of cutting edge topics given by experts in their field. We are hoping to provide the Annual Congress as a face to face meeting but we will also be looking to provide some aspects of the Annual Congress virtually for those unable to attend. The details of the programme will be available soon so please keep a watchful eye on the website and emails. I do hope I will see as many of you as possible next year.
Of course the Executive Committee are cognisant of the current situation due to Covid-19 and we are therefore keeping the Annual Congress under review. I will keep the membership up to date on our deliberations and will let you know if we have to make any changes to our planned Annual Congress next year, following Government guidance, over the next few months.
The NewsFeed Editorial Team has already provided a great deal of information in their regular newsletter sent via email on the 5th November. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Editorial Team for all the work undertaken to keep our members informed. The Editorial Team are always happy to receive items that will be interesting to the membership. If you would like to submit any news items, and in particular details of any courses/meetings that you feel may be of interest to members, for future News Feed alerts, please email them to [email protected].
The last few months have been interesting for me, as your President, working virtually across all aspects of the Society and hearing views from our members on what we can do to support them. It was therefore decided to survey the members and, under the leadership of the Vice President, Professor Brian Lake, the Executive Committee has provided a very comprehensive Membership Survey to provide you, our members, with an opportunity to provide feedback to help us meet your needs.
As you will have seen from recent communications this survey is designed to seek the views of all BTS members on a range of topics including member benefits, communications with BTS, the BTS website, format of the annual meeting and opportunities for training. Completion of the survey will permit the Executive Committee to formulate its future strategy to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our members. Without your input we cannot understand, or provide, what is needed for our members. I have been pleased to see the response rate of the survey to date and my thanks to all those who have responded so far but we need to hear from as many of you as possible as this so important to understanding what we need to do to ensure that the Society is meeting the needs of our members. So could I please ask all of you who have not yet had the opportunity to respond to the survey to access the link https://www.tlfadmin.com/view-survey/bts2020 and take the 15-20 minutes needed to complete the survey before it closes at 17.00 hours on Friday 4th December 2020. With your help we can ensure that the Society and our profession continues to thrive globally. The results of the survey will be presented at the 2021 Annual Congress.
I am always keen to hear from our members so please feel free to contact me via [email protected] if you have any comments about the Society.
In the meantime thank you all for your support which I and the Executive Committee appreciate.
Until my next newsletter, which will be just before Christmas, I wish you well and remain safe.
Professor Shirley Price
President of the BTS