British Science Week 2023
"We still have so many questions that remain unanswered about Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis; it is only through science and research that we are going to find those answers and get closer to a cure."
Richard Beesley, Founder of Juvenile Arthritis Research
Whilst our main focus has been on WORD day this week, we couldn’t let the week end without a mention for British Science Week which ends today, as science is a core part of what we do at Juvenile Arthritis Research. In fact, our charity was founded by a scientist wanting to make a difference to the lives of children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) by pushing forward the boundaries of science towards one day finding a cure for JIA.
This year’s theme for British Science Week is “Connections” and the importance of connections in the work we do has really come to the fore this week. Firstly, with the connections we have with each person who has been making a difference and raising awareness of JIA in their schools and communities using their WORD day packs and posters printed from the WORD day hub on our website. You are connecting with your communities and telling them about JIA – thank you!
We also have connections with other organisations around the world who share the same passion as us for making a true difference to the lives of those with JIA. We are part of ENCA – the global network for children with arthritis and autoinflammatory conditions. We work with many patient organisations as well as universities and hospitals, and we are seeing our resources translated into more and more languages for use all around the world.
And of course, being part of the international WORD day organising committee means that we are connected to others who are wanting to see change on a global scale as well as within our own countries – to tackle the challenges that children and families with JIA and other rheumatic conditions face, to reduce inequity in healthcare and to improve understanding and awareness that children can get rheumatic diseases, such as JIA, too.
This year’s WORD Day webinars have been the perfect examples of the importance of connection…The first webinar was looking at rheumatic diseases in education where the importance of connection and communication between all those involved from clinicians, to teachers, parents and the child or young person themselves, was highlighted.
The second WORD Day webinar was looking at inequity in healthcare for children and young people with rheumatic diseases. The importance of these connections that we have around the globe came to the fore as these incredible clinicians and researchers and those representing patients from around the world came together to describe how they were innovatively overcoming many of the challenges they face and resolving to continue to work together on a global scale to make life better for those with JIA and other rheumatic diseases. We are so proud to be part of this group of people who are passionate about making a difference and understanding that it will take a global effort to improve things for those with JIA and other rheumatic conditions wherever they are in the world. Both webinars will be available on catch-up soon!
Now back to specifically talking about science… We love to inspire the next generation of scientists too so don’t forget to read our interview with Dr Stephanie Shoop-Worrall for some serious science inspiration. We also love that Dr Solebo, a uveitis specialist from Great Ormond Street hospital, leads a Zooniverse project which ANYONE can get involved in! We’ve taken part in it and it can be rather addictive. Find out more at https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/lolasolebo/eyes-on-eyes
And don’t forget the fantastic video called “Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: An autoimmune disease" that we put together with thanks to Arthritis Kids South Africa which explains JIA as an autoimmune disease in an easy-to-understand way. Find the video at https://bit.ly/JIAvideo
If you want your kids to get really excited about science, then one not to miss is the regular live Facebook and YouTube shows by Theatre of Science. You can’t fail to be inspired by Lara’s energy and enthusiasm about all topics ranging from the science of dinosaurs to the science of poo and everything in between. The sessions are all free. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/theatreofscience
And of course, you’ll find lots of ideas on the British Science Week website too for activities and fun ideas to do.
Keep an eye on our social media pages and e-newsletters for research and science projects relating to JIA that you can take part in. We only share details of high quality research projects that we’ve often been involved in from the outset, and that we believe will make a real difference.