One of my professors (oddly enough, Doctor is in the Science Department but this is a liberal arts course at a liberal arts school so they get all sorts of professors to teach it) had an interesting story in class yesterday.
You see, Dr's a chemist and a biophysicist (and maybe an MD, I either don't know or can't remember) and like a lot of sciencey people, Dr. has worked with various aspects of the medical industry, researching, developing, etc. And at one point Dr. worked for A Big Pharmaceutical Company developing a new treatment for breast cancer (I'm not sure if it's okay to tell the name of the eeeevil evil company so for now, it's BPC. But it wouldn't be too hard to figure out which one. It's a BIG one, after all).
Dr. worked on this treatment system for I believe about five years, funded of course the whole time by BPC. It took at least a year for Dr. to simply study the body system he was working with so it could be figured out how to deal with it--it's complicated stuff. But complicated or not, at the end of five years, Dr. had a product that everyone felt confident in--wow, they said, this has potential. This could save lives! This could really work!
And Dr. took it to the team's bosses in the Big Pharmaceutical Company for the final presentation, which was attended by a gray-haired man Dr. had never seen before, and therefore was obviously important. And Dr. gave the presentation.
And the gray-haired man said "Dr, this is some great work. We're really impressed with this product, you are amazing. But you see, women with breast cancer have this habit of dying before selling a nice new product like this to them becomes cost-effective. So we're going to shelve this wonderful product, we might pull it back out later but we just don't think it would be good for the company to produce right now. But I'm looking forward to reading your final dissertation, thanks."
And Dr. walked out of that room and that was the last time Dr. worked for the Big Pharmaceutical Company. And BPC is getting the product patented but not putting it into production; and Dr. is positive that if the product had been for, say, prostate cancer instead of breast cancer, the company would have rushed it into production, because it's run by gray-haired men, after all.
"Hello desk. It's nice to see you again."
"Oh, hello forehead! It's been so long since we've met."