The Dublin University Biological Association—known as “Biosoc” for short, or traditionally “the Bi”—is the medical students’ society of Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.
Medical societies have existed at Trinity on-and-off since 1801, but in the early years they were not very active and tended to have short-lived existences. The current Association was established on 27 January 1874 under the guidance of Dr Alexander Macalister, Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and the other Professors of Natural Science, to promote original scientific investigations by undergraduates “in every branch of Biology”. Meetings were held at 5 Trinity College on the first Tuesday of every month to read and discuss papers on anatomical, zoological and botanical topics, with “tea to be had at seven thirty, and the chair to be taken at eight.” The annual membership fee was five shillings.
Early topics of discussion included whether fish can hear and whether the human appendix supports the theory of evolution. In 1876 it was decided that medical and psychological topics were “suitable” for discussion, and the earliest medical paper presented was on anatomical irregularities. This was soon followed by several other medical topics, including several case reports, and during the years that followed, the society became much more distinctly medical. The rules were amended to include pathology, pharmacology and related areas under the aims of the society.
In 1880, a medal was introduced for the best paper delivered during the course of the year. At the opening meeting in 1881, Dr Charles Bell proposed the resolution “that the Dublin University Biological Association is worthy of the support of all Students of Medicine and Natural Science”; this motion has been proposed every year since.
Today, Biosoc is part of the Dublin University Central Societies Committee, which allows us to use College facilities and resources. Membership is is open to all students at Trinity, regardless of their course. Our name reflects our heritage and reinforces the link with the hospital and healthcare charities that we support. We are pleased to have close working relationships with the academic staff of the School of Medicine and with the Trinity College Medical Association.
Our website has a list of constantly updated academic resources which you might find handy. We also organise a number of events, big and small, from concerts to pub crawls, from lectures to balls. See the Events section for more information on planned events this year, including the all important Med Ball. Our website, Facebook page, email updates and the Biosoc noticeboards (in the Anatomy building and the Trinity Centres at St James’s Hospital and Tallaght Hospital) will also contain details of upcoming events.