One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about technology journalism is how cozy a niche it is. There just aren’t than many folks who can geek out with the lab dwellers, put the hard questions to the executives, and get it all down on the page, on a deadline–so it often feels like if you cover this beat for long enough you’ll wind up working with everybody else who does at one time or another. And I’m very happy to report that the time has come for us at Xconomy to get to work with Sylvia Pagán Westphal.
Sylvia is an accomplished life sciences journalist who has been a staffer at the Wall Street Journal, New Scientist Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, and a freelancer for The Boston Globe, CNN.com, The New York Times, and Smithsonian Magazine. She’s got a surplus of academic cred as well: she got her Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard Medical School, studied journalism at the Boston University Center for Science and Medical Journalism, and was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. (See Sylvia’s bio for more on her background, including an important disclosure.)
After all those years of reporting on and studying biotech, pharma, and medicine, Sylvia has some strong opinions about how those industries work—and how they could work better. We’re thrilled that she’s agreed to share those ideas as Xconomy’s new life sciences columnist, starting today with a thought-provoking piece on the web of self-interests that both threaten life sciences and hold the sector together. Sylvia’s column will be called The Pulse. I encourage you to check out her inaugural piece, and to watch this space for new installments every other week or so. Knowing Sylvia, it’s sure to be a fun ride.