James Drake uses personal resources to fund philanthropic endeavours in multiple areas. His philanthropic activity spans science, sport and The Arts including a charity helping young musicians.
The Future Science Group (FSG) convenes scientific and medical communities around breakthrough areas of the biosciences, with a focus on translation, collaboration and innovation. As a publisher of a leading collection of journals, digital hubs, publishing services and events, FSG unites these communities to enable conversation and the advancement of growing areas of science and medicine. James Drake was the founder and continues to serve as the chairman of this award-winning publisher.
The Drake Foundation serves as a non-profit organisation that investigates the potential consequences of head impacts in contact sports. The Foundation recommends and funds evidence-based studies and works closely with many of the sports’ governing bodies. James Drake founded this organisation.
Prior to starting his philanthropic endeavors, James JP Drake studied biochemistry and worked on food toxicology research. Early in his career, however, James successfully transitioned to scholarly publishing and established pharmaceutical journals that focused on patent research. This experience provided the grounding for the Future Science Group as well as his work on the Drake Foundation.
He established The Drake Calleja Trust to help exceptional musicians from underprivileged backgrounds at the start of their careers. YolanDa Brown heads up a section of the Trust on non-classical music genres: the DrakeYolanDa Award.
When not engaged with one of these organisations, James Drake enjoys painting as an “amateur” artist. Although he doesn’t consider himself a professional, his paintings show skill and have been appreciated by some well-known celebrities.
Where did the idea for The Future Science Group come from?
The group came from a series of drug development journals where patent information was the first step. We were the first company to get experts to review the technology flowing though pharma patents.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The important jobs have to be planned, if not implemented, before most people get to work.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Discuss them with my most trusted advisors.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The potential of artificial intelligence
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Never leaving a problem on the shelf, and weekly strategic planning.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Have more faith in your instincts.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly review and fine-tune your strategic plan / life goals
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Analyze the competition and do better.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Don’t be over-concerned with business models at the outset. If it’s important and useful, a business plan will emerge.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
5 bottles of resveratrol at the start of the pandemic.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The software that allowed us to work from home during the pandemic.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My Dad’s autobiography Once Upon a Time in Aberkenfig, written in his nineties:
What is your favorite quote?
My own quotes:
‘Most people seek advice to validate their own opinions.’
‘If you want to know who your friends are, send out some good news to all your contacts. The speed and tone of their reply will tell you everything’.
‘Life is all about the chances we are given and also the chances we create for ourselves.’
‘It’s not about life’s setbacks: there’ll always be plenty of those. It’s about how you deal with them that matters.’
‘We all get warnings of future consequences, rather like nearly perceptible rumbles ahead of an earthquake. Sadly few of us are able to interpret those portents and act upon them.’
‘Genetics is an illusive benefactor. The qualities
that we pass on to our children are often not the ones we would choose’.
‘A friend tricked me into going to Wimbledon by telling me it was a men’s singles event’
Other people’s quotes:
‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.’ (my very favourite)
‘Only about half of perceived friendships are mutual.’ MIT Study finding.
‘Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.’ Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming. David Bowie
‘A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.’ Francis Bacon
‘A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.’
‘Wealth doesn’t bring happiness but it helps to endure unhappiness.’ R Gervaso
‘Talent is a long patience, and originality an effort of will and intense observation.’
‘Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order’. Sydney Brenner
‘Do not unto others as you would them do unto you – they might have different tastes’
George Bernard Shaw