From the Editor: June 2024

Cheryl Scott

June 12, 2024

2 Min Read

As you read this, we’ll be deep into the preparation of our “Platform” issue for publication in August. So now may be your last chance to speak up through our online survey at If you haven’t already, I encourage you to drop in there and give us your thoughts now. We want to present the best picture of the biopharmaceutical industry’s current reality in that upcoming issue.

Such information also helps us to develop “personas” that represent our readers, authors, advertisers, and so on. This is a marketing concept I’ve learned about only recently, but some Google searching has revealed to me that I’m a bit late to the party. Some of you may have had experience with the persona concept already, and we’re all probably represented by one or more such models somewhere. As you can imagine, they’re all the rage in the media/events world.

The basic idea is to create descriptions of fictional people who represent parts of a target audience. The resulting models are used to evaluate operations both directly and indirectly associated with serving such people. The exercise of building personas is fun and a little bit silly, but also useful and thought-provoking. It can help drug developers make decisions about product presentation and delivery, for example, by addressing the real-life concerns of patients who live with the

conditions that such products will treat. And for organizations like mine, it assists in developing conference programs, online offerings, and published features that are valuable to both attendees and participants.

You might think of building personas as a form of modeling, especially considering the tools and templates now available. These days, we don’t put out an issue without some mention of computational fluid dynamics (see Chaudhry, page 32) or digital twins (see Sharma and Jain, page 12) or artificial intelligence (see Rajasimha, page 48) and so on. Everybody’s talking about that stuff, but I wonder just how much it’s affecting your daily work life. Only you can tell us that (see survey link above).

AI hasn’t touched my own daily work much (yet). I haven’t received an editorial submission that was obviously computer generated, but we sometimes work with transcripts that are. And just from those, I can tell you that human judgment, experience, and creativity remain vitally important to interpreting results. People always will be the heart of our business and yours, no matter how much automation makes inroads with both. Those marketing personas also help to remind us of this:

You can serve a market only by doing your best to understand the people who make it up: employees, technology users, patients, speakers, attendees, authors, readers, colleagues, friends, and family.


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