Chairman’s message – Spring 2015

Knowledge, Learning, Practice, Impact: these are the key headings within the BSA’s logo and they neatly sum up the raison d’être of the society- indeed they are probably the best description of the BSA’s ‘brand’, if we have one. The concept of a ‘brand’ may seem alien to a scientific and learned society and more appropriate for the commercial world, but it does help a great deal to define our aims and objectives. These will be explored and developed in more detail at the council strategy day on May 15th, which will be a great opportunity for all of our trustees and advisors to get to know each other better, plan the BSA’s strategy for the next 12-24 months, and to define roles for everyone involved; the success of the society depends on the enthusiasm and ideas of its members and council. The day will be led by our new Operations Manager Laura Turton, who, since her recent appointment, has amply demonstrated her apparently boundless energy, rapid understanding of what the BSA needs, and ability to get things done- just what the society needs and indeed I for one now wonder how we ever managed without her.

As ever, the BSA has a full and active programme of learning events throughout this year and next (see our constantly updated website for all the details). The regular ‘lunch and learn’ talks are an important resource and I would urge anyone who hasn’t got hooked on them to get into the habit- they work particularly well when watched as a group as part of regular team training, when the talk can lead to sometimes lively discussion and debate! The ‘big’ learning event in the BSA calendar is the annual conference (AC), and the council recently made the momentous decision to move the timing of the AC to the spring – so the next AC will be in April 2016. The overwhelming feeling was that the time has come for a significant re-launch of the AC, at a new time of year (well away from other large UK audiology conferences), in a new, improved format. I think this is an exciting opportunity to put on a great new conference, organised in close collaboration with the BSA SIGs (Special Interest Groups)- so there will be something for everyone; my hope is that this new AC will become the ‘can’t miss’ audiology event of the year and will attract much greater numbers of our members from all backgrounds than in recent years. Full details will follow imminently! Meanwhile, the two-day ‘basic science’ meeting in Cardiff in September this year, organised by John Culling, will be an important forum for scientists, researchers and clinicians to hear about and debate the latest findings in audiology and hearing science- with plenty of opportunity for discussion, interaction and of course socialising!

Some turnover in BSA council membership is inevitable, and the recent resignation of two trustees means that we are now looking for ‘new blood’ – please consider coming on board; this is a real chance to get involved and be part of a great team that can help the BSA continue on its journey of modernisation and ever-increasing impact. If you want to find out more- please get in touch soon!

Best wishes to all our members and everyone in the audiology and hearing science community.

Huw Cooper

April 2015