Four Scenarios for the
Future of BioSciences
No one can reliably predict if emerging life
science technologies will be wildly successful,
or fall short of expectations—or whether the
public will accept or reject these new scientific
techniques. What we do know for certain is
that multiple futures are possible. So how do we describe, anticipate and plan for these possible futures?
Prof. Paul Schoemaker has led a team of management researchers from the Mack Center for Technological
Innovation at the Wharton School, and senior consultants from Decision Strategies International
(DSI), to develop four scenarios that describe the commercialization potential of emerging
bioscience technologies from now until 2020 and beyond:
How Decision Makers
Can Use These Scenarios
Whether your organization is a pharmaceutical firm,
biotech startup, government agency, NGO, or patient
advocacy group, you need to think about the long-term
future and consider the drivers that will shape the future.
The Future of BioSciences team at the Wharton School
has developed four “meta-scenarios” that senior managers
and strategic planners can use as a starting-point to create
micro-scenarios for specific industries and environments.
In the coming months and years, DSI and the Future of
BioSciences team will monitor industry trends, winning
and losing strategies, best practices and critical issues.
Our goal is to provide insights of interest and value to
decision makers in organizations that are developing,
deploying or benefiting from bioscience technologies.
A. WHERE’S THE BEEF?
Patients and practitioners want and need
medical solutions to treat and cure disease,
but science falls far short of expectations.
B. NEW AGE OF MEDICINE
Medical science achieves unprecedented
breakthroughs that cure disease, help
people live longer and ushers in a new age
of personalized medicine.
C. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Genomics, stem cells and other life sciences
cause much commotion but fail to achieve their
early promise. Research investment dries up
and remains stalemated about ethical “what ifs.”
D. BIOSCIENCES HELD HOSTAGE
Medicine and healthcare strive to develop and
commercialize embryonic stem cells, cloning,
gene therapy and other technologies, but the
public rejects these technologies at a deep level.
These scenarios are described in more detail in
the “The Future of BioSciences” research report
(Fall 2005). To order this 100+ page report,
please visit our website: