Have you ever risked disapproval? Have you ever risked a belief? ... real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés.

- From Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins

I recently attended BIO 2004, the annual jamboree of the biotech indus try. The optimism and energy of the place invigorated me as industry pioneers shared their visions of the future and I learned about new technologies, the ongoing translation of research into products and services, and the process of commercialization.

But they weren't the only face of BIO 2004. I also spent some time talking to a couple of anti-biotech protestors who, like me, were in the bar taking stock after a long day. In truth, I was leveled by the parallels between us: they got a real kick out of what they were...

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