From The Editor | September 28, 2018

Others Talk About Creating Good Stories; We Write Them

Dan Schell author page headshot

By Dan Schell, Editorial Director, Life Science Leader

Others Talk About Creating Good Stories; We Write Them


A few years ago, in the media and content-creation industries, a ton of people started extolling the virtues of the word “storytelling” (as though they had just uncovered it in some mythical treasure trove of techniques that would magically ensure “reader engagement”). As my social media and news feeds became inundated with articles and posts about the “importance of being a good storyteller” when writing an article, I had a single thought:

No duh.  (Except I didn’t say duh.)

I mean, didn’t we all learn in English 101 to write in a compelling manner on a topic that your audience will find interesting? Yeah, I know, “compelling” is a subjective term, and the type of content that entices a reader to keep reading isn’t always clear, even if you think you know your audience inside and out.

When I’m reviewing articles for inclusion in an upcoming issue of Life Science Leader, I’m looking for more than just “a good story.” As a B2B magazine, we want to serve as a source of content that offers value as well as entertainment, or as my old colleague used to say, it needs to be “infotaining.”

Our October article on BMS’s Lou Schmuckler is a good example of interesting storytelling that also has some valuable takeaways. Schmuckler, BMS’s president of global product development and supply, joined the company smack dab in the middle of a massive transformation toward becoming a specialty biopharma firm. He had to get acclimated quickly and figure out how the company’s manufacturing operations would keep up with the transformation — because even more change was coming.

Some of my other favorite stories from the October issue include: “Serendipity: When Funders Found A Company” and “Biopharma Pioneer Returns To Small Company Roots.” The former details the unusual origin of Foghorn Therapeutics while the latter explores how Celgene cofounder David Stirling, Ph.D., started the small biotech BioTheryX.  

Of course, there are plenty of other compelling and educational articles in this issue.  Considering crafting a biotech NDA?  Then we have some great tips for you this month. There’s also some good advice in part two of our series on preparing a drug candidate for ANDA litigation.

Everyone has been talking about the lack of diversity in life sciences, and, in our October magazine, we continue discussing this hot topic in the article, “Improving Diversity In Life Sciences: Four Ways To Turn Outrage Into Action.” Our October CEO Corner, written by Syros Pharmaceuticals’ CEO Nancy Simonian, also addresses this issue.

Listen, we get it. Everyone is touting the importance of storytelling, and consequently, now more than ever, you are flooded with a variety of content to read. We’ve been publishing this magazine for 10 years, and “good storytelling” has always been the bedrock of our editorial objectives. Check out our October issue to see what I mean.