I have hope. And I have evidence now that hope is worthwhile. This week has been nothing short of amazing. Somehow, everything seems to be happening at once, and now I feel as though the prospects for action to stop gene patenting are good. There is clear momentum, and public support, and a growing group of disparate activists and academics who have somehow begun to convene. In sum, here's what has happened this week:
Monday: I met with Luigi Palombi (see previous posts) and things are in the works now to take this movement international, with real backing and strength. We then attended a screening of Joanna Rudnick's film "In The Family" at Cardozo Law School, and met Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation. I also met Kevin Noonan, who was the lone voice on the other side of the issue, and who is a some-time foil, having critiqued my book (before reading it) on his website -- Patentdocs. He was a gentleman, though, and I hope he'll take part in our film and offer the reasoning behind gene patents.
Tuesday: Taylor Roesch and I interviewed James Watson for our documentary. He delivered some extraordinary sound bites in opposition to gene patenting, and provides unparalleled scientific credibility on the subject given his connection with the human genome's discovery and mapping. Later that evening, we went to another screening of "In The Family" at the Tribeca Cinema, where we were able to film a panel discussion on the legal implications of gene patenting and the ACLU vs. Myriad lawsuit.
Wednesday: I gave my talk at Cardozo Law School, entitled "The Ethical Case Against IP," which we also filmed for the movie. We then went to Harlem where we filmed an excellent interview with Luigi.
Thursday (today): Taylor interviewed me for the documentary. We shot in Central Park, which was brilliant, crisp, and sunny, and the leaves are beginning to turn. It was good to be in the park, even if we were working. I then headed downtown and did a live interview on the Leonard Lopate Show. There's a link to the interview (and all similar press) from my homepage, under "press."
Tomorrow and Monday: I have a call-in interview for WBAI Evening News, and then, perhaps, a moment to breathe. Then Monday, I will debate Gene Quinn on the issue of patents and innovation, and then tape an interview with Laura Flanders of Grit TV.
*UPDATE* here's the GritTV spot, I think it went very nicely.
In sum, the ACLU lawsuit, Luigi's activism in Australia and elsewhere, the recent HHS draft report, and the public's overwhelming support of the movement to eradicate gene patents (when they learn it is happening) give me courage, hope, and strength to continue this work, and seek real and lasting change.