The Passed Over & the Elite

Greeted Passover on a flight home from Chicago. I haven’t held or been to a seder in a few years. The last one was the time I ended up meeting the Zionist Conspiracy To Get Me Married To A Nice Jewish Girl. It’s nice to see that the Jewish lobby isn’t as effective as Drs. Mearshimer and Walt think it is.

But I made it in safe and sound, with a little in-flight bumpiness and traffic delay. Just about finished Geek Love, which I’m enjoying a bunch. I sorta disagree with Dunn’s use of an X-Men-like character in the midst of an otherwise believable world of a really demented sideshow freak family.

The BIO conference went well; I had some good interviews and got a lot of good anecdotes & bits of intel about various aspects of the industry. I also got to meet several people with whom I’ve been in work-e-mail contact for years. That usually helps facilitate the working relationship, except when one of the two parties doesn’t remember having met the other face-to-face at a previous conference.

Anyway, the conference was described to me as “a singles club for CEOs and VCs,” and it’s true that a lot of the conversation was about funding, in-licensing developmental products (as in, a big company looking to buy the rights to a smaller company’s drug that’s currently in clinical trials). The conference is also filled with regional economic development councils for various states or countries (like that Malaysia group I mentioned a while back). They work hard to get companies to choose their regions for R&D or manufacturing facilities, and I like hearing them explain their virtues. The Maine pavilion had a slogan on one of its displays that read (paraphrasing): “Bangor: more metropolitan than you think!”

Well, duh.

Anyway, one of the funnier moments of the last day occurred as we were getting ready to board the plane back to Newark. It was one of the first Continental flights after show’s end, and the gate area was filled. The clerk called for all Elite Access passengers to board. None of us stepped back to make room. Turns out, when you have a conference that’s as money-centric as BIO, with so many attendees who constantly travel, everyone has Elite status.

Except my associate editor, who felt that her non-Elite status was a badge of honor.

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