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The Boston Globe

Business

Mainstream media barred from attending BIO keynote

The Biotechnology Industry Organization banned mainstream media from covering Tuesday’s keynote luncheon at its annual convention in Boston featuring a discussion between former US Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson Jr. and Robert Rubin.

BIO allowed trade press to cover the event, and a BIO spokesman said that media access was determined on a case by case basis.

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“We want to ensure that our presenters are comfortable speaking openly before our paid attendees,” said spokesman Jeff Joseph. “Our goal is to try to maximize the experience for our paid attendees while ensuring all media have fair and reasonable access to our convention.”

A Boston Globe reporter ended up attending the event on the invitation of a public relations firm that represents BIO and allowed him to cover the discussion.

The event featured BIO chief executive Jim Greenwood moderating a conversation between the two former US officials on global economic challenges. Several thousand attendees of BIO were at the luncheon at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Paulson, the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, was Treasury Secretary from 2006 to 2009, and helped orchestrate the controversial $700 billion bank bailout in the fall of 2008 during the global financial crisis. Paulson is now a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Rubin was Treasury Secretary from 1995 to 1999 under President Bill Clinton during a period of economic prosperity. Rubin currently serves as co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and helped found the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, a nonprofit policy think tank.

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