​Board of science overview

The BoS (board of science) promotes the medical and allied sciences, contributes to the development of effective public health policies, and supports medical research.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Friday 28 June 2024
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​The BoS (board of science) plays an influential role in forming government and public opinion on public health issues for the benefit of doctors and patients.

We do this through a range of methods, from the hosting of events (including symposiums, roundtables and the annual Victor Horsley lectures), to the publication of policy reports, web resources, guidance documents and briefings.


Our priorities

We maintain an influential role in forming opinion on issues of interest to the health of the public. This includes major work areas such as:

  • suicide prevention
  • addressing the health impact of economic inequality
  • underscoring the link between dental and broader bodily health.

The above list indicates the breadth of the board’s work, but it is not exhaustive; the committee has looked at a huge range of topics, from pollution and climate change to tackling the threat of anti-microbial resistance.


Podcasts and webinars

Gambling harm and suicide

In this webinar, psychiatrist Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE leads a discussion focusing on the links between gambling harm and suicide. Prof Bowden-Jones is a medical doctor working as a consultant psychiatrist in addictions (CNWL NHS Trust) and is the country's first National Clinical Advisor on Gambling Harms.

Prof. Bowden-Jones was joined by Will Prochaska, strategic director of Gambling with Lives, Lord Foster of Bath, Chair of Peers for Gambling Reform and Carolyn Harris MP, chair of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling Harm.

Watch the webinar

Suicide prevention

At this webinar, Professor Appleby presented on current suicide prevention priorities, tying in with suicide prevention strategy from the UK government, before answering questions, from both the chair and the audience on the priorities regarding suicide prevention over the course of the next decade.

Watch the webinar

Tackling knife crime with a public health approach

During this webinar, the chair and deputy chairs of BMA’s Board of Science committee, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar and Dr J S Bamrah, were joined by Dr Martin P Griffiths DL FRCS, national clinical director for violence reduction and consultant trauma and vascular surgeon, Barts Health NHS Trust., to explore the topic of knife crime.

Watch the webinar

During this podcast, Prof Jennifer Shaw, professor and clinical consultant at the University of Manchester, and Dr J S Bamrah discussed the causes of knife crime and what is being done in order to tackle it.

Listen to the podcast

Achieving net zero in the health service

During this webinar, the board discussed both the NHS and BMA’s reports on how the former intents to be a net zero health service, and explored the intersection between climate change and health. Lord Deben, chairman of the UK’s Independent Committee on Climate change, gave a keynote address.

Watch the webinar

To continue the discussion, Professor Dame Parveen Kumar was joine by Nick Watts, NHS chief sustainability officer, to analyse the broad issue of climate change and how the public can help tackle it.

Listen to the podcast​

Long Covid 

In this webinar, Dr David Strain leads a discussion that covers the lived experience of long Covid, current research, assessment and treatment as well as the next steps needed to improve patient care and its outcomes.

Watch the webinar

Previous events

  • BMA Board of Science discussion event: How do we realise the full potential of genomic medicine?
  • BMA Board of Science discussion event: Adversity and trauma in childhood – exploring the role of healthcare professionals


  • Board of science: How can healthcare professionals support a public health approach to tackling knife crime?
  • Board of science event: Achieving Net Zero in the health service
  • Board of science discussion event: Long COVID

Victor Horsley scientific sessions

At the ARM (annual representative meeting), it is customary to hold a series of scientific lectures. The BoS agrees the topics and speakers for these lectures each year, with the aim of providing a variety of debate and knowledge sharing.

Previous lectures

  • Why doesn’t risk information change our unhealthy behaviour?
  • Emergency medical humanitarian assistance – is any help better than no help?
  • Physician health – supporting doctors’ wellbeing
  • Putting the mouth back in the body
  • Tackling antimicrobial resistance
  • Challenging the myths and misconceptions on e-cigarettes
  • Transforming the NHS – the 100,000 genome project
  • Joining up care across the health service to support women’s health
  • Drug regulation: past, present and future
  • Gambling disorder: from clinic to politics, a UK perspective
  • Gut microbiome
  • Controlling epidemics
  • Obesity: causes and consequences
  • The alcohol pandemic: before and after Covid-19
  • Climate Change: Why the Paris treaty can be a public health treaty

Our people

Chair: Professor David Strain

Deputy chair: Dr Melody Redman


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Develop your skills as a committee member

Take part in one of our free courses designed to give you the right skills to:

  • break down equality and inclusion bias (CPD-accredited)
  • value difference and inclusivity
  • live our BMA behaviour principles.
Find out more

Our meetings

The BoS meets three times a year to discuss and progress the board’s work. Members can either attend in person or via video or teleconference. These meetings are open to committee members only, but non-members can take part in a non-voting capacity via the committee visitor scheme.

  • Tuesday 18 May 2023 (Virtual)
  • Tuesday 17 October 2023 (Hybrid)
  • Friday 2 February 2024 (Virtual)
  • Thursday 16 May 2024 (Hybrid)

All meetings take place from 1.30pm to 5pm either virtually or at:

BMA House
Tavistock Square

For more information contact [email protected].


How to join

There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills. 

Being an expert in public health is not essential to being a member of the BoS, we welcome professionals from all different stages in their careers and from all medical backgrounds. The key requirement is to use your professional insight and networks to support the work of the board.

Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of the BoS, this is: 

ARM elections
  • Seats/term - every three years, elections for one seat on the BoS take place for a three-session term. 
  • Timeline - the nomination period opens a month before ARM and voting closes a few days after ARM.
  • Eligibility - all BMA members can stand for election but only ARM delegates can vote.

Of the nominees, BMA Council elects a further two seats for a three-session term.

Open recruitment of committee chair
  • Seats/ term - the BoS recruits one chair for a three-session term.
  • Recruitment process - it usually involves a written application and an interview.
  • Eligibility - any BMA doctor member who meets the criteria specified in the eligibility document published during the recruitment process.

The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.  



Election to board of science is closed.


Get in touch

If you have any questions or are interested in finding out more about the work of the BoS, please contact [email protected].

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Women at the BMA

The BMA is working to meet the challenges that women face in the medical profession.

Stand for a BMA committee and be part of this change.

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