A: IT WILL TAKE A SUSTAINED EFFORT, NOT “SILVER BULLETS,” to turn the public perception tide. Collectively, industry professionals – and leaders in particular — need to be passionate, yet thoughtful advocates for the science that motivates us every day. While it is tough for individual CEOs to justify public actions that go beyond the immediate needs of their own companies, public personalities such as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs illustrate the impact a vocal leader can have on shaping a company or industry’s image. Biopharma has generated discoveries that rival Tesla and Apple’s global impact, and yet the public doesn’t seem to appreciate their significance. To proactively shape how society views biopharma, not only do we need to proudly integrate our work into our public identities, but share these efforts by regular engagement with traditional and social media outlets.
Heather is the former president and CEO of the Life Sciences Foundation, the independent steward of biotech heritage. Previously, she was founding President of MedTech Association, serving New York’s bioscience community.