The first Day of Immunology (DoI) was held on April 29th, 2005. It was brought to life by the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) in order to strengthen the general public's awareness of immunology as a basis for individual health and well-being.
Although public interest in health issues is high, people without a scientific background often miss the relevance of immunological research and findings. Moreover, scientists are rarely encouraged to explore the art of public relations, and consequently face difficulties conveying their knowledge to an audience outside the scientific community. Our aim was to create a bridge between our growing understanding of the immune system and informing the public and individual patients, in order to improve health and well-being in general.
Since 2005, the Day of Immunology has been the occasion to gather European scientists to bring immunology to the public. Due to its great success, it has been celebrated worldwide since 2007.
Japanese immunologists, for example, focused on activities for public and high school students in 2008: The Japanese Society for Immunology published an entertaining and educational book on immunology suitable for children as their DoI 2008 outreach campaign, Your Amazing Immune System. EFIS published the English translation of the book for the DoI 2009, to make it available free-of-charge to a greater readership in Europe.
For the DoI 2011, EFIS released a virtual web exhibition for the general public - www.inside-immunity.org. Help us to publish the exhibition translated to other languages as well, to bring immunological awareness to the public in your country.
The success of Your Amazing Immune System in English prompted EFIS to establish a translation support program in 2011, and, in 2012, the release of an interactive educational web adaptation www.interactive-immunity.net. The website includes quizzes and games, printable content, further reading and full .pdf versions available for downloading of Your Amazing Immune System of the 19 translations thus far produced.
For further reference and reading:
News and EFIS. Day of Immunology (DoI) Competition 2012. Eur. J. Immunol., 42: 1915.
News and EFIS. Day of Immunology 2011 – Get inside your immune system through amazing pictures and videos! European Journal of Immunology, 41: 884.
Sautès-Fridman, C., Day of Immunology 2010: A worldwide day of educational festivities. European Journal of Immunology 2010. 40(3):1827-29 Kaufmann, S.H.E., Hahner, A., The Day of Immunology 2009. European Journal of Immunology 2009. 39(3):630-1 News and EFIS. Global Day of Immunology 2008. European Journal of Immunology 2008. 38: 2056-2059 Kaufmann, S.H.E., Grossman M.L., Englich S., The Day of Immunology 2007 goes global. European Journal of Immunology 2007. 37(5):1158-1160 Kaufmann,S.H.E., Englich,S., and Grossman,M.L., Bringing immunology to the classroom. Immunity 2006. 24: 349. Kaufmann,S.H.E., Englich,S., and Grossman,M.L., European Day of Immunology 2006. Japanese Society of Immunology (JSI) Newsletter 2006. 14: 11. EFIS, Partnerships in immunology and education: Day of Immunology 2006. Immunol Lett 2006. 105: 100. Kaufmann,S.H.E., Day of immunology: a far reaching success. Immunol Lett. 2005. 100: 2-4. Kaufmann,S.H.E., Bade,K., and Englich,S., European day of immunology. Nat Immunol. 2005. 6: 741.