Course explores balance between “greater good,” profit
Every pill has a story. Before it got to a medicine cabinet, that pill had to pass the scrutiny of scientists toiling in labs. It had to win confidence in business meetings and prove itself safe to government regulators.
Along the way, that pill could cost $1 billion or more in investment, and go on to generate billions in profit. That path, in more technical terms, is called life science commercialization, and it drives major sectors of the U.S. economy. It affects taxpayers, doctors, politicians, patients and anyone buying or selling a product that was once developed in a bio lab. Yet few undergraduates in the United States actually learn about that process.
Last fall, Professor of Biology Robert Morris and Visiting Assistant Professor of Business and Management David Huizenga combined their experience and wisdom to form “Applied Health Science” (MGMT 298).
The course examined life science commercialization, and the tension between the good and greed that drives it. Students first mastered the fundamental ways that science and business meet—from funding and patents, to government regulations and profits. In turn, they got a glimpse of their different chosen concentrations functioning in a real-world context, whether they were majoring in the humanities, sciences or social sciences. Ultimately, the professors advocated embracing this tension, and applying it to the competing interests, ethical ideals and practical constraints in contemporary problems. [Read more...]