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Express your “Pharma Pride”, Clearly Communicate Science

Posted on November 23rd, 2015 by in Pharma R&D


Have you ever tried googling ‘Pharma Industry’? Right after Wikipedia, page after page, you will find various articles referring to ‘Getting High on Fat Profits’, ‘Holding Big Pharma Accountable’. BBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post…
Doesn’t it bother you that mass media spit out word Pharma in the same breath as corruption, abuse, data manipulation and most of all: Big, dirty money?

It bothers me. For many years I have been working with inspiring people who possess beautiful minds. They are extremely dedicated to their work, especially their scientific projects and most of all: They are very considerate of potential patients, specifically people whose lives can get better because of a scientist’s dedication. Healthcare, diagnostics, medical treatment and disease prevention have reached new levels because of these people. If you are reading this, there is a high chance you are one of them.

The system is not perfect. “Bad Pharma” by Ben Goldacre has a very strong point about clinical data sharing and lack of transparency in legislation. There is no doubt that things should be improved and rules followed. Does that mean that everything that the pharma R&D does is evil?

Hell, no. But society forgets that the pill they take every morning to: maintain them above the surface of depression/ keep their heart beating/let them breathe was developed by pharma. Unfortunately, all they remember is that company A mislead the doctors, company B hid important side effect data and A, B and C are all bathing in cash.
Why is this happening?
Because mass-media speak their language. They communicate in simple terms that hit the target: lies, money, corruption, and benefits.

How do we communicate our sensational scientific breakthroughs? Most of the time we speak in a language and space many peopleĀ do not understand. We lose them before we finish our first sentence. Science and technology have evolved so much that those emerged in it have left everyone else behind. We are in this amazing world of wonders, but as it turns out, it is a bit lonely here.
I bet you follow the world of drug discovery. However, the next time you see a headline about a new target, try to see it with different eyes. Would someone without a scientific background understand the importance of the news? And even if they do, will they understand why we won’t be able to benefit from it as a society for another 10 years?
Unfortunately I do not have a full answer.

I do believe that governments and wise leaders of the industry should step up. So should we. Even if you agree with me, what are we going to do about it?

Let’s find our own way to communicate about what we do; in whatever manner we can so that our family, friends, and neighbors could understand what we have done and why it is significant. Maybe scientists should try to write an article that will not be aimed solely at a scientific audience, but in a way that can be understood by the rest of the world.

We really should find a way to share the beauty of what we do and take more people on that amazing journey. I am proud to be part of this industry. I am sure you are too. Letā€™s share our passion and get people excited about it. Letā€™s turn fear and comprehensiveness into curiosity and appreciation.

I have already started my own ā€˜translating scientific information into human understandingā€™ project.

What are you going to do?

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