Science and Biotech Need to Engage More to Win Public Trust

March 19, 2013
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I will be speaking at BioWales on Tuesday, which is an honour.

This is something like what I am going to say.

 

I will be speaking at BioWales on Tuesday, which is an honour.

This is something like what I am going to say.

 

As a young undergraduate, I often thought the golden ages of discovery and progress were gone… the world was mapped, the human genome was soon to be mapped, oceans explored, the moon an abandoned desert…how naïve, and now, with the good fortune to work in the field that I do, the excitement of what lies ahead, not always 5, 10, 15 years down the line, but already happening around us, with breakthroughs in immunotherapy, gene therapy, regenerative medicine – for me, it’s humbling to a part of it.

And for the sector to succeed understanding and engagement are key. There are no better ambassadors for a field than its scientists and subject matter experts – the people who really know their stuff. It is they that can develop the engagement and trust we need and are best placed to tell the story and earn the trust of the public in the life sciences.

We all know that the need for this sector to continue to grow and succeed is huge, not just for patients, but for jobs and the economy as a whole.

The sectors’ strength and vitality lies in its ability to innovate – we need to be better at harnessing that innovation and driving it into real patient benefit.

One way to do that is to embrace innovative new ways of collaborating and working together, across industry, academia and the 3rd sector.

And finally, engagement with the public, policy-makers, the media and politicians is crucial to strengthening trust in the sector.

image: biotech/shutterstock