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Day 4 started with a corporate presentation (we got to choose, and I attended the one by Pfizer) at 7:30am, in which Pfizer’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development talked about the rapidly shifting way in which big pharma is working, and mentioned an unacceptable fact that should make us all reflect on how much the patent system is broken:

Pfizer has 98,000 employees… and 31,000 lawyers!

The rest of the day I attended classes by Catherine Tucker, Brian Halligan, and a speech by Dean David Schmittlein.

 I asked the Dean what was MIT’s position regarding open access, in the wake of Aaron Swartz suicide. The response was half satisfactory: although he started with the typical excuse for restrictive protectionist and monopolistic position (“research is expensive”), he ended up talking about OCW, MITx, and the need of support for open access. 

In the evening we had a reception and dinner with guest speaker Ed Roberts, and Joi Ito, flying straight from Davos to tell us about the evolution of technology, and personal anecdotes.

The day ended, after a lot of sushi and a great dinner, with the required group photo.