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The killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer has brutally underlined the systemic racism that informs policing, housing, education, and health care in the U.S. Biotech, like every other facet of society, is not immune to the effects of racism and inequality.

We talked to Tony Coles, a longtime biotech executive, about why Floyd’s killing sparked global action, how to parse public statements from major drug companies, and what business leaders can do to combat racism.

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  • A bit surprized that STAT news delves into racism, the only link being “bio-tech CEO, nevertheless I find this a great interview of a truly inspirational man. I have never experienced racism, and I despise it. There is no difference in the humans underneath a different color skin. To me, this whole explosion of obviously festering resentment – on both side (black and white) is mind-bogling. What Tony Coles is striving for ought to be normal, not necessary. But as it clearly is, this eloquent respectable yet humble man is the perfect persona to bring about understanding and respect. Both elements seem to be lacking – and are the biggest hurdles – likely on both sides.

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