Now US-based, 2003 40under40 winner Dr Duane Varan is CEO of MediaScience (since 2008) and Hark Connect (since 2020). Hark Connect provides the world's most advanced platform facilitating focus group research.
MediaScience is one of the world's leading providers of lab-based audience/consumer research with labs in New York, Chicago and Austin. It is a global pioneer in new research methods integrating neuro/biometric measures (EEG, skin conductivity, heart rate and more), facial expression analysis, eye tracking, response latency testing and a wide range of measures associated with better understanding the emotional dimensions of media and brand encounters.
Prior to that Dr Varan was was Chief Research Officer at the Disney Media and Advertising Lab in the United States, a role he largely held concurrently with his appointment as Professor and Executive Director of Audience Labs (formerly known as the Interactive Television and Research Institute) at Murdoch University in Australia. He ceased the former role in 2013 and finished at Murdoch in 2015. Dr Varan is the recipient of a number of awards including the Australian Prime Minister's Award for University Teacher of the Year. His research pioneers new approaches to media research, incorporating biometrics (ElectroDermal Activity, Heart Rate, Eye Gaze, Facial Coding, EEG, reaction time tests, etc.) and experimental design to better isolate the emotional dimensions of audience behavior. Dr Varan was a Business News 40under40 winner in 2003.