Having taught philosophy of science at UBC from 1967-1988, Ed joined the start-up biotechnology company QLT Inc. (then Quadra Logic Technologies) in 1988. In effect this move enabled him to work actively in one of his prior main areas of research interest, namely in the intersection of science and social issues. (See below.) He worked in regulatory affairs and project management – primarily in the field of cancer — before becoming Vice President, Corporate Development in 1993. As VP, CD, he had major responsibility for establishing, developing, and managing QLT’s strategic alliances, led strategic planning, and oversaw the intellectual property area. Partnerships were with large and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies, device companies and other biotechs. Of special note was the alliance with CIBA Vision Ophthalmics, now Novartis Ophthalmics (NVO). The alliance with NVO enabled QLT to develop VisudyneÂ®-PDT, where PDT is “photodynamic therapy”, a method of treatment involving a photoactive drug (e.g. Visudyne) and its activation by appropriate light. The principal application of Visudyne-PDT is as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. As a senior manager of QLT, he played a significant role in building QLT into one North America’s leading biotechnology companies.
Ed became an adjunct professor at the Centre in September 2002, and retired QLT at the end of that year.
Ed’s interests in the interactions among science and social institutions in the fields of law, ethics, economics, government were honed on joint research projects studying the Green Revolution in Asia and what a multi-disciplinary project team called Mandated Science. (See first and last items in publication list below, respectively). The latter focused on the study of situations in which scientists had a mandate to make policy decisions or recommendations involving a great deal of scientific content. Examples include royal commissions, expert advisory commissions, and regulatory bodies.
Other areas of specialization included the interpretation of quantum theory in general, and what came to be know as the quantum logical approach.