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Remembering Pat McGovern

By Morris R. Levitt, Ph.D., Founding CEO, Bio-IT World

March 21, 2014 | Among his many important achievements Pat McGovern was the Godfather of Bio-IT World. Pat, the founder and long-time chairman of international technology media company IDG, passed away this week in California. His impressive life history has received extensive coverage and I urge readers to seek out his story via the many online articles and tributes that are available.

I had the privilege of working with Pat in two different contexts. He was one of the first Westerners to venture into China and had a brilliant vision of how Western technology could help drive China's economic development, for mutual benefit. Pat launched ComputerWorld China and eventually a major China investment fund. I was fortunate to partner with Pat and his China operations when I was head of the PennWell Advanced Technology Division, and saw first-hand how Pat's vision became a major force in developing the now-vast China technology market.

Later, I found out that Pat had another big vision: a publication and event focusing on the emerging fields of genomics and advanced computational biology. I became the founding CEO of Bio-IT World and again witnessed Pat's passion for how new science and technology could improve the human condition. He wanted us to be best of class and with his ardent support Bio-IT World garnered some of the top editorial awards in the business publishing industry. As the field matured, Pat sought a long-term home for Bio-IT World and I assisted in the transition to its current parent company, Cambridge Healthtech Institute.

I heard Pat say on many occasions, including at the opening of the McGovern Brain Institute that he endowed at his alma mater, MIT, that science and communications could bring understanding among all the nations. (Neuroscience was another of his passionate interests.) Given the many elements of Pat McGovern's great legacy, we can all be proud that one of them continues to be Bio-IT World.

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