Board Of Science

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AMR Symposium

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasing global threat, putting many advances in modern medicines at risk as simple infections become impossible to treat.

On 1st November 2017, Public Health England (PHE) reported that four in 10 patients with an E.coli bloodstream infection in England cannot be treated with the most commonly used antibiotic in hospitals. Resistance of micro-organisms to the drugs used to kill them is a natural phenomenon but the problem is amplified by the inappropriate use of antibiotics in both humans and animals. A lack of new antimicrobial medicines available or in the development pipeline is a challenge.

At the same time, while the prevention of infections is the first step in protecting the antibiotics we have and making then remain effective for loner, poor hygiene practices and insufficient infection prevention and control measures. means that infection rates continue to increase.

The Board of Science hosted a symposium on this issue in May 2018 with the following objectives:

  • To discuss the opportunities for the health and veterinary sectors to combat AMR, how barriers might be overcome and identify collaborative solutions that can be implemented after the symposium
  • To inform the current development of the UK’s next AMR Strategy

Participants included representatives from across the health, medicines, veterinary and farming sectors. There were also representatives from a wide range of BMA branch of practice committees, specialty committees and council committees in the devolved nations.


Read the key themes that emerged during the symposium


Women's health symposium

The Board of Science hosted a symposium on women’s health at the BMA in May 2017. The board invited renowned experts from a range of specialist areas to speak at the symposium and as a result the following set of briefings were produced in conjunction with the BMA Public Health and Healthcare team.

Information and briefings

Women's Hour - Radio 4

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar and Dr Anthea Mowat, Chair of the BMA Representative Body, were featured on Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 discussing the report into addressing unmet needs in women’s health. You can listen to the recordings below.

Under 40, sexual health, violence against women and girls - Wednesday 08 August (starts at 17:58)


  • Dr Anthea Mowat, Chair of the BMA Representative Body
  • Dr Sue Mann, Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Professor Nicole Westmarland, Director of the Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse at Durham University

Over 65, healthcare for older women, particularly cancer and dementia - Friday 10 August (starts at 14:35)


  • Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Chair of the BMA’s Board of Science
  • Paulette Winchester-Joseph, Deputy Clinical Lead for the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline
  • Sara Hiom, Director of Early Diagnosis, Cancer Research UK


Victor Horsley Scientific Sessions

At the BMA’s annual representative meeting (ARM), it is customary to hold a series of scientific lectures, and as such, are named after the first BMA representative body chair. The Board of Science agree the topics and speakers for these lectures each year with the aim of providing a variety of debate and knowledge sharing.

At the 2019 ARM, held in Belfast, the Board of Science were delighted to invite the following guests to speak on the following subjects:

  • Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist, Genomics England – Transforming the NHS – The 100,000 Genomes Project. Watch the presentation.
  • Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Joining up care across NHS services to support women’s health Watch the presentation.
  • Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chair, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – Drug regulation, past, present and future. Watch the presentation.

At the 2018 ARM, held in Brighton, the Board of Science invited the following guests to speak:

  • Dr Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer, NHS England – Putting the mouth back in the body
  • Professor Neil Woodford, Head of Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (AMRHAI) Reference Unit at Public Health England – Tackling antimicrobial resistance
  • Professor Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy, Stirling University – Challenging the myths and misconceptions on e-cigarettes