The importance of Scientific Conferences

In a few days time, on Tuesday 29th November, members of Your Rheum will be attending and speaking at the British Society of Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) conference.

This is great, but has it left you wondering what the point of a conference is?

If so, read on…

I thought I would consult the font of knowledge that is Wikipedia to see what they had to say on the matter:

‘A scientific conference is a meeting of scientists of a certain research field, intended to bring them together to learn about recent developments, present new data to each other and discuss it critically, and to socialize and get to know new colleagues.’ [1]

I think this sums it up quite nicely. Conferences usually follow a programme of talks and workshops designed to keep scientists up-to-date with current research in the field.

You can have a look at the BSPAR programme here.

But where do normal everyday non-scientists fit in to all of this?

Well traditionally patients didn’t fit into it, conferences were purely for scientists.

It is now becoming more and more common however, for patients and the public to attend and get involved with conferences as the importance of making healthcare centered around patients and understanding ‘real-life’ experiences becomes more apparent for making research relevant.

A conference is a great place to make scientists and researchers aware that young people are interested and want to get involved in research. This is why it is really important that Your Rheum will be at the BSPAR conference. It will be a fantastic opportunity to make researchers aware of our group, show them why it is important that young people need to have a voice in research and also to give them the opportunity to meet the people they conduct research for.

Look out for a blog-post after the conference with all the details of how it went.

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