Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: PA is one of nation's leaders in biotech industry

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 14, 2015 9:32 AM

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, May 14, 2015:

The life sciences industry has become an innovative and economic engine in Pennsylvania.  The industry itself says "Modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes."

In Pennsylvania, that means the production of medical devices and equipment, drugs and pharmaceuticals and research and testing.

The life sciences industries has a $40 billion impact on Pennsylvania.  More than 79,000 people are employed in the industries and they earn an average salary of more than $90,000 a year.

It's not just the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh universities and medical facilities that are on the forefront of the biotech industries -- Central Pennsylvania is home to several nationally ranked facilities.

We'll learn more about the biotech or life sciences industries on Thursday's Smart Talk. 

Our guests include Fritz Bittenbender, Executive President, Public Affairs with the Biotechnology Industry Organization and Sheri Collins, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Technology and Innovation with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.


Deputy Secretary Sheri Collins and Fritz Bittenbender

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-14 09:40

    Meda in York emails:

    We have excellent biology majors graduating on Saturday from York College of PA. What advice do you have for those college students, excited about science, and wanting a job in the biotechnology industry in PA? What things can they do to get noticed and get their foot in the door?


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-14 09:42

    Lisa emails:

    I would like to add: My daughter who is finishing 6th grade, has been selected for honors science for next school year. She is far from a scientist and math is one of her weakest subjects, she excels in language arts, so I was a little surprised and excited for this invitation. I think what she brings to STEM is her strong language skills to explain what is happening and how it happens; she is wonderfully creative and thinks with no box which is also a great skill that adds to the field. I think we can also encourage our non-math and science kids to use their other skills to explore and innovate. I think we should also encourage the leaders in STEM that it is more than geeky math and science, we need people who can talk about the field in a way that is not over our heads.