In May 2016, Roberto Burioni, a virologist at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan and active campaigner against anti-vaccination activists, said "The Earth is round, gasoline is flammable, and vaccines are safe and effective…..all the rest are dangerous lies."
This statement created a lot of interest and Burioni used Facebook to drive his message home. He challenged the contrasting information being broadcast by one branch of the Italian government vs what its health agency promoted on immunization. More than five million people responded to his comments. He is very active on social media and has been described as "Waging a Twitter war against conspiracy theories".1
The Italian edition of Forbes magazine named him one of Italy's top five internet game changers, and a former health minister nominated him for Italy's gold medal in public health. Says Guido Silvestri, Emory University, ‘He’s the one scientist who stood up and said, “This is bullshit.’’
This media coverage was never the intention of Burioni, but clearly demonstrates the power of social media, communication and clarity of message. Everyone understood what he was saying which was reflected in the uptake in social media following his straightforward approach and honest comments. This type of outspoken and uncomplicated way of communicating is uncommon within the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences arena, which often leaves us in the dark about issues around drug development & accessibility, vaccine scares, anti-biotics and the ongoing challenge of over prescription, to name but a few.
In 2019, we conducted a highly successful crowd funding equity raise. From the outset, we focused on our core messages and storytelling about the brand, the effect and the ultimate impact as we were appealing to a broad range of investors, from novice to early stage VC’s. Our story was about StablevaX™, a disruptive invention to stabilise vaccines, eradicate the need for refrigeration, reduce costs and ultimately save lives. The message was clear, concise and easy to digest. Investors from all walks of life, with and without scientific backgrounds, could relate to both our humanitarian and commercial story. We believe that this in part, led to the over funding and healthy number of followers that we amassed during, and following our equity raise.
And now back to Burioni. Acknowledging both the positive and "catastrophic" effects of social media, he says ‘The world has changed, science needs to find a new voice—not the language of scientific congresses, but a language that's understandable, passionate, and convincing.’
You cannot get much clearer than that!