"I have spent the last 30 years in various aspects of the biopharmaceutical industry, which for the most part has been a very rewarding experience.
However, during this time period, having been immersed many different components of therapeutic development and commercialization, one thing has always bothered me: a wide array of promising research never makes it off the bench to see the translational light of day, and gets lost in the historical scientific archives.
I always believed that scientific progress happened in a very linear narrative, with each new discovery supporting the next, resulting ultimately in an eventual stairway of scientific enlightenment.
What the reality turned out to be was much more of a fragmented, research “evolutionary tree”, with dozens of potential pathways, only very few branches of which ever resulted in scientific maturity, and not always the most fruitful ones by any means.
The premature extinction of these promising discovery pathways were the result of a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, funding priorities, competing industrial interests, “out of vogue” concepts, lack of intellectual properties, non-existent regulatory models, conflicted legislative initiatives, and even religious implications.
In 2016, as in previous years, we continue to see these “valleys of death” swallow up pathways of scientific possibility, with few popular segments attracting the majority of attention and support.
The preponderance of resources focused on the somatic mutation model of carcinogenesis, despite an endless range of research highlighting that the disease is extremely heterogenic and rarely ever follows such a clonal model, is one example that continues to be inappropriately manifested in the oncology system, decades into the “war on cancer”.
On a similar plane, the jettisoning of most studies of the biophysical aspects of human genetics, despite the gross incompleteness offered by the central dogma to explain higher biological form and function, is another example that has become all too pervasive in the research community.
And then there are the areas of human consciousness, memory, and information processing / storage, where in many ways we are still operating in the dark ages, with materialists and dualists battling it out for centuries."
- Ira S. Pastor
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