This semester we had Matt Herper (and will have Randi Hutter Epstein.) In the Spring we had Heidi Moore, Pam Feliciano and Avik Roy. Before that: Shirley Wang, Adam Feuerstein and Mike Huckman -- in all, an incredible group.
But why journalists in a business of biotech class? Two reasons:
1) They write really well, and writing counts.
Heidi Moore by herself validates the Guardian (and Twitter for that matter) both for her ability to report and comment on everything economics, and for the quality of her sentences and paragraphs: precise and logical series' of nouns and verbs that make their points immediately, delivered with a consistent and strong (and active, not passive) voice, with concrete descriptions, and no unnecessary adjectives or adverbs. In other words, an ability to communicate that students should at least be exposed to and at best should copy.
2) They are expert at taking today's static snapshot and expanding it into a dynamic movie, with a plot and, more importantly, a direction.
Mike Huckman gave me my favorite due diligence question: "How did this company start?" and Adam Feuerstein told my class (and taught me) how important it is to shut up and listen -- and to keep listening. Entrepreneurship -- like investing -- starts with ideas. But ideas alone can be misleading, because once acted upon they can go off in any direction. Entrepreneurs need to control, and investors need to determine, that direction.
Story development, whether building off of today's assumptions and new ideas, or pieced together after the fact to handicap coming success or failure, is a skill that complements simple "fill in the pipeline chart and plug the numbers into the excel model" thinking. Story development is an analog process, less formulaic, more intuitive -- but no less valuable than the digital science and business skills that scientists starting businesses bring with them the first day of class.
Which is why some of the class is taught by journalists.