The Science of Coincidence

The Science of Coincidence

What goes around comes around.


I believe in coincidences having meaning. Just looking at our first month in the warm embrace of our new parent company, CGLife.   Seemingly random events make life feel more purposeful.


And if I’m kidding myself, well then I am OK with that too.


In the last few weeks, I’ve attended two events which clearly showcased the circle of circumstance and maybe what relationship building is really all about.


There was the kickoff of a new project with a new client, Acumen Analytics, and CEO & CTO Kathy and George Brunner. Except they aren’t a new client. They were one of McDay’s first clients, coming back ‘round after their own transformation.


Acumen Analytics is working with McDay to transform themselves across the clinical trial analytics space, particularly in the R&D laboratory data arena, which they feel is under-served.


Kathy Brunner was our first client at McDay, back in 2015. She still claims that she uses some of the gorgeous case studies we designed and wrote for her back then.


Then, in early March, McDay’s founder, Bill McLaughlin invited me to the opening of Amicus Therapeutics’ Global Research and Gene Therapy Center of Excellence in uCity Square, here in Philadelphia. I had the great pleasure of meeting Amicus CEO John Crowley, an old friend of Bill’s.


John Crowley has spoken to our Irish American Business Chamber three times (and honestly, I want to hear him tell his amazing story, chronicled in the movie, Extraordinary Measures, a thousand more times!)


Bill McLaughlin is the man who persuaded me that an engineer could run an ad agency six years ago. No coincidence that he brought me to one of the biggest grand openings in Philadelphia’s Cell-i-con Valley surge within the same week our next adventure begins….


Friends who see you and support you and launch you, and appreciate you, coming back around just as we launch our new adventure with CGLife, a science communications agency out of Chicago, Denver and San Diego, who purchased us on February 14th.  Coincidence?


And now, with the COVID-19 crisis, is it a coincidence that two pharmaceutically-oriented, science based agencies, come together to help this industry understand it? Our clients are truly a resource and many have been called upon as experts ;  this can’t simply be a coincidence.


A 2019 Discover magazine article1 took a look at the science of coincidence and reported that coincidences are “an inevitable consequence of the mind searching for causal structure in reality…”


The author says that “most people agree such scenarios are part of our brain’s innate need to create order out of chaos — and we experience them more often when we’re paying attention.”  Well, I was paying attention this month, and the return of old friends, to join in the with our new friends at CGLife? I think I see a pattern. Close-knit bonds with other humans have a way of sticking with you. Client, friends, collaborators….


CGLife does so much of the what McDay does, and much, much more. When I first met the CGLife partners, Murad Szbali,Jeff Bergau, and Steve Johnson, the energy in the room was literally sparking off the walls  – and it hasn’t stopped since.  Maybe that’s what self-proclaimed “coincidence researcher” Bernard Beitman, a neurobehavioral sciences professor at the University of Virginia, meant:


        “Just as sharks have ampullae in their skin that detect small electromagnetic changes to help them locate their prey … it’s plausible, maybe even probable, that humans have similar mechanisms that detect coincidences,” he says.


Thanks for supporting us then, Kathy Brunner, and Bill McLaughlin, from the very beginning if our adventure and welcome, Murad, Jeff, Steve, Erik and the entire wonderful team at CGLife, for the start of our new adventure.


This couldn’t come at a better time. Coronavirus has shown us the confusion that can happen when voices are not clearly heard and science-based facts don’t drive the story.  McDay and CGLife, now together.  It is no coincidence.