In the presidential election, a significant proportion of American voters, feeling unspoken for and left behind by establishment politicians and policies, expressed their displeasure and desire for change. The campaign also gave voice to disturbing currents of thought - a disregard for science, a lack of respect for defined social groups and a view that the modern corporation’s sole responsibility is maximizing the profit of its owners.
The leadership of the biotechnology industry has deep reasons, based in the founding tenets of our industry, to raise our voices in opposition to these troubling ways of thinking. As the Trump administration takes over this month, I want to suggest the biotech industry’s leadership has not yet risen to the occasion.
Our Enlightenment roots
The biotechnology industry was born of the recombinant DNA revolution. In the ensuing 40 years, while the revolution in the life sciences has transformed modern drug discovery, contemporaneous transformations have occurred in our understanding and expectations of modern corporate and organizational behavior and responsibility.
Modern scientific inquiry