My decision to create a new publication about health, medicine, and life sciences began to take shape during a dinner I attended in Boston during the summer of 2014, about a year after I had purchased The Boston Globe. Two dozen of us had been invited by Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, to discuss why Boston, which once had an opportunity to claim the mantle as the nation’s tech hub, had been eclipsed by Silicon Valley.
The talk soon turned to Massachusetts’ predominance in life sciences. I realized that while Boston and Cambridge were indeed the epicenter of life sciences, this fascinating world was not being covered by a serious, standalone news organization committed to the kind of in-depth journalism that has been a hallmark of The Boston Globe.
I had served for an extended period on the board of Massachusetts General Hospital, in addition to my duties at the Boston Red Sox. I knew brilliant people locally in biotech, in robotics, in medical education, and in some of the most important labs in America. It was evident to me that many of the most compelling stories in life sciences weren’t being covered at all — or in a very limited way.
At the same time, I was and continue to be passionate about helping to find new journalistic models. I have traveled to newsrooms around the world and met with dozens of media executives to talk about the issues facing serious journalism outlets. I was excited about developing a new digital publication that could become the trusted source for life science news around the world, full of credible, important, and engaging stories that showcased discoveries, examined controversies, punctured hype, and explored innovations in health-care delivery.
Within 24 hours I was committed to STAT.
Over the coming decades, many of the most important stories in the world will come out of life sciences.
The next day, I met with The Globe’s hierarchy and Rick Berke quickly emerged as the top choice for executive editor for this project. Rick and I then spent months brainstorming ideas on what it would take to create a first-class newsroom of passionate reporters, editors, artists, and multimedia producers.
While Greater Boston has a critical mass drawing the best and the brightest in health and medicine, major life sciences stories could not be covered by focusing solely on Boston. We had to build an international workforce to cover the kinds of stories we began to see almost immediately. As a result, STAT has already hired reporters in Washington, in New York, and in San Francisco. We’ll eventually cover the world first-hand with reporters embedded within communities of cutting-edge research and innovation.
STAT’s creation as a separate company from The Globe grew out of my view — and the belief of editorial and business leaders at The Globe — that a news organization can be most nimble when it is built organically for the digital age. But STAT also benefits tremendously from being a sister publication to The Boston Globe, one of the most vital and respected news organizations in the country.
Over the coming decades, many of the most important stories in the world will come out of life sciences. Our mission is to uncover and follow the biggest stories rising out of this sector. Major, untold stories will unfold on our site, as we examine issues and questions that affect every human being. There is simply not enough coverage presently of these vital matters. STAT launches now to do this.