I love stories,” says Paul Naphtali ’14. He’s taken that love to unexpected places after completing his bachelor of science in biology at Redeemer, doing his master of science in biology, and gaining PhD-level experience in biochemistry and biomedical sciences, both at McMaster University.
With an educational background like his, you might expect Naphtali to be on a career path that has him conducting experiments in labs or working in a medical setting. But his love of stories has instead driven him to participate in the industry in a different way. He recently launched his own company called GenoWrite, where he writes all kinds of marketing documents. Whether it’s blog articles, social media posts, email newsletters, white papers or case studies, Naphtali strives to help tell the stories behind the important work biotech companies are doing.
“Whenever a company has a writing need, I answer the call,” he says. “I love making science accessible for everyone. From scientists to investors to the general public, I want to inspire understanding and action from anyone who reads what I write. There’s so much good going on in the sciences. I want to help people see that and use it to improve human health and the world around us. All of that comes down to us being created by God to marvel at what he’s done and to see his glory everywhere we look. Whether it’s the big world of space above us or the tiniest of microbes that we can’t see, I want to make him and his world knowable and approachable to all.”
I love making science accessible for everyone. From scientists to investors to the general public, I want to inspire understanding and action from anyone who reads what I write.
Naphtali credits Redeemer for his ability to synthesize complex data and scientific concepts into understandable stories. He says his well-rounded liberal arts education taught him how to think critically and figure out how things work. It eventually fostered in him a deep love of reading novels and telling stories that he leverages in his scientific writing. By writing about science in ways that resonate with his audiences, he helps drive sales of his clients’ products and helps inform people about the world’s intricacies which God has implanted.
Part of the inspiration for his career direction came from an opportunity he had to write and advocate for those suffering with cystic fibrosis. He found great satisfaction talking with local government officials and working to tell the story of why it was so important to make a drug called Trikafta available in Canada. “Through our efforts, the government passed fast-tracking of approvals,” he says. “People’s lives have been changed because of access to this drug. It was that effort which inspired me to make science writing a full-time career.”
In the world of freelance writing, Naphtali says there is a lot of talk about how artificial intelligence (AI) might change the profession. Even as AI continues to improve, he believes humans are still an integral part of storytelling. “I think freelance writing is safe. AI is just a tool. It can help generate ideas and write to improve presence on search engines. But I firmly believe that there will always be a human element in writing. Writing is a way to forge a connection between people even when there’s no face-to-face contact. Having AI do all the work removes that connection. Using AI also raises concerns about plagiarism since companies must constantly look to stand out from the rest. Finally, AI requires a cache of existing writing samples and information to build upon its own texts. There’s a lot of extremely technical writing and novel technologies that don’t have precedence in existing writing samples. That means AI won’t be as well-equipped to write on new research advances.”
Furthermore, learning from Jesus’s empathy and kindness also helped me understand my clients and translate their work into stories that everyone else could understand an connect with.
Naphtali’s Christian perspective also plays into his work. He’s well aware that the whole world is the Lord’s and all its fullness. It was he who created order in this world and allowed absolute truth to be discovered and shared.
“I learned to see the stories in everything through the story of Scripture. Jesus often used stories in his ministry. That framework helped me to find the stories underlying research data and share them in a way that encourages the reader to learn more and take action. Furthermore, learning from Jesus’s empathy and kindness also helped me understand my clients and translate their work into stories that everyone else could understand and connect with. Looking back, I think it was because of Redeemer that I could begin to see all those stories come to life. It was there that the seeds were planted. It may have taken years to manifest, but it was worth cultivating and waiting for.”