Dancing for Science: Day of Immunology Flash Mob

May 24, 2018 Julia Ballard

On a beautiful, autumn day in Melbourne, Australia, three Wiley colleagues—Michelle Head (Journal Publishing Manager), Sue Huang (Journal Publishing Assistant) and myself—joined more than 60 researchers, students and industry representatives to dance for science. That’s right—we joined a flash mob to celebrate and promote the Day of Immunology!

The Day of Immunology events, organized by the Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI), included public lectures on the science of immunology, events to promote understanding of vaccination and public tours of labs around Melbourne. The week culminated in the Vaccination Café, held on Friday, April 27, where the public could receive a free flu shot and a free coffee (it is Melbourne, after all!).

With enthusiastic support from the ASI, Jomar Life Research (a Melbourne-based company) organized the flash mob to promote the Day of Immunology events, especially the free flu vaccines. But why a flash mob?

Alex Szabo, CEO of Jomar Life Research, summed up the motivation for the flash mob. “Most importantly, we wanted to have fun”, he said. “But in addition, we wanted to dramatically raise awareness of the Day of Immunology, and especially wanted to promote the Vaccination Café where people could get free flu shots as part of a campaign to generally encourage immunization before the flu season”.

After a flash mob practice session.

After some practice sessions (some in the office!), we were ready to take on the city. We danced at 4 locations on two days in the Melbourne city center, with enthusiastic crowd support every time. After each flash mob event, we handed out information about the Vaccination Café and encouraged everyone to take advantage of the free flu shots on offer.

By all measures, the flash mob was an overwhelming success. There were more than 40,000 social media impressions (check out #immunomob on Twitter). Public lectures and seminars in the Day of Immunology program sold out and, most importantly, the Vaccination Café had given out more than 600 flu shots by midday!

Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in our happy flash mob with this video:

Wiley partners with the ASI to publish its two journals, Immunology and Cell Biology and Clinical and Translational Immunology and we were thrilled to be able to support our partner in this innovative, fun way. We had so much fun dancing for science and look forward to joining with our partners in more events to support the research and publishing community.

Wiley colleagues from left: Julia, Michelle, Sue

Image Credit: Julia Ballard

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