Week 6 Reflection
Jenny Han

Honestly, I am unsure what my relation with the STEM community will be in the future. But I know that if I pursue a discovery in STEM, I would want to be able to provide and explain that discovery to the public. Many times, scientists have findings that are not applicable nor explainable to the general public, which, in my opinion, does not give much value to that finding. I want my contribution to have real value to real people.

I actually learned about the unfair pricing of epipens in my Econ class. These are the issues with permitting patents to these epipens. On one hand, pharmacies should be rewarded for discovering new epipens and new drugs, so allowing them to set a high price gives an incentive to discover new drugs. On the other hand, if there was no patent, then other pharmacies would copy any scientific discoveries of new drugs and epipens, so producing drugs and epipens would not be profitable. I think institutions should consider social costs when pricing their epipens, both for publicity reasons and moral reasons. I feel that it is an institution’s duty to help society first, and profit second. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a good way of enforcing such a priority, so if institutions are greedy, they can just try to maximize profits. If an institution chooses to be greedy, they will lose public face, which in itself loses profit for the company (in the long run). Customers who need epipens will buy epipens, but will react and stop the ridiculous costs of epipens in future cases. With a bad public image, that pharmacy will unlikely make much profit.

With the second article, I agree with Elon Musk’s choice of action. Of all industry representatives on Trump’s advisory council, Elon Musk is most likely to include his opinions on environmental issues. Elon Musk will likely contribute an opinion that differs from most of the industry representatives, and it is important that environmental concerns are expressed. I appreciate Elon Musk’s initiative to use his knowledge for good.

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