Friday, October 26, 2007

'Round the Sphere: Marc v. Mack, POE v. MM&M, Commuincation v. Nooses

A few of us blogger denizens of the Pharma BlogosphereTM were out and about attending and/or presenting at pharma industry conferences this week.

Marc Monseau -- J&J BTW blogger -- and I teamed up at the Digital Pharma conference in Princeton, NJ, to do our audience-participation point-counterpoint routine on whether or not the pharmaceutical industry should embrace Web 2.0 (see "J&J Blog, Shire PR: The Whole Story and Nothing But the Whole Story!").

It was such a great success that I am thinking of trademarking it. But I'm afraid J&J might sue me, so I won't! ;-)

Ed Silverman at Pharmalot interrupted his busy blogging schedule to moderate a panel discussion at another pharma industry meeting hosted by DTC Perspectives in Parsippany, NJ. The panel of bloggers addressed the question, "Do Pharma Blogs Have Any Influence?"

This was a mystery panel -- the blogger panelists were not announced prior to the meeting although at one point it was rumored that Peter Rost was invited. But I think Peter was busy making a speech in the Swedish Parliament.

I planned to attend, but other business kept me tied down in my office. Perhaps Ed will enlighten us on the details later in a post to Pharmalot. I know my ears were burning all day!

What I do know is that DTC Perspectives had their annual POE awards dinner the night before and announced the winners of the most innovative DTC campaign. I had predicted the Gold and Silver winners, but was surprised and disappointed by the Bronze winner.

I didn't attend that event either because I rather be watercolor painting! This is my first composition. like it?

But I will be attending the even more gala, Black-Tie MM&M awards ceremony at Tavern on the Green in Central Park, NYC, on Thursday, November 1. For more on this, see "Awards: POE vs. MM&M. I Pick Winners!"

Finally, on a more serious note, Fard Johnmar over at HealthcareVOX blog, went "off topic" to comment on racist "gestures" like nooses hung on trees and doors and the brouhaha over a statement attributed to James Watson, winner of the Nobel Prize as co-discoverer of DNA's molecular structure. See Fard's comments here.

According to, Watson was quoted Oct. 14 in the Times of London saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa'' because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours -- whereas all the testing says not really.''

Ever since I read Watson's book, The Double Helix, I realized he was a pr*ck! His comment about Africans just confirms it. Let's put racism aside for a moment. May I ask, WTF do social policies have do with intelligence? I mean, should charity and financial aid go to only intelligent people rather than to anyone in need regardless of their intelligence?

Fard suggests that we should not waste our time condemning these idiots but rather counteract racist beliefs with communication:

So, I have a simple suggestion for communicators of all colors and creeds. People are quoting the 'science,' IQ tests and SAT scores to suggest that Blacks and Whites are not of equal intelligence. They also rely on anecdotal evidence, saying "look around, you can't help but notice that most Blacks don't take advantage of the opportunities they have in this country." If we want to change these beliefs, we have to replace assumptions with the facts. Show people why they are wrong by citing examples of the quiet, unheralded contributions Blacks are making in business, science, education, law and other areas. Condemnation is good, but saying 'this is wrong' and going back to business as usual two weeks later is criminal.
Fard cites a few names of Blacks that have made unheralded contributions to our society. What I want to know is, where are they in the pharmaceutical industry? I know they are there! I've met a few at industry meetings like Digital Pharma and have written at least one story in my newsletter about the work of a Black pharma product manager.

Women pharmaceutical executives have the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association but where is the Black Pharma Businessperson Association?

Fard, I think it would be a great idea to seek out Black professionals in the pharmaceutical industry and begin telling their stories. Let's ask Marc Monseau for help -- he may be interested in getting J&J employee stories posted to his blog!

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