In 1976, Don Harless, director of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search handed a first prize to Bronx High School of Science prodigy, George Yancopoulos. Fast forward three decades. George has become the co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, now the sponsor and namesake of the Science Talent Search. Harless, in his eighties by now, shows up at the latest Regeneron Talent Search Award ceremony to shake the hand of George Yancopoulos. Why? Because the year before, Harless was nearly blind, and a Regeneron drug called Eyelea® reversed his macular degeneration.
This year, George Yancopoulos was honored with Columbia University’s Hamilton Award, the most prestigious prize given to an alumnus. As George, in our short film, says: “Columbia changed my life… It’s the spirit of asking questions, it’s the challenging of the status quo, it’s the wondering about the science. If you ask questions to Professors — and they may not have even thought about the question before — and they say: that’s a great question — that is the basis of promoting new thought and creativity.”
What might the winners of the Regeneron Talent Search Award do for George down the road? Let’s see.
See our film for the New York Bankers Association:
When we were asked to write and produce a video for the 125th Anniversary of the New York Bankers Association, we asked CEO Mike Smith whether we could make the piece not only about what happens when rivals work together for the common good, but to advocate for what we call “fervent moderation.” To our delight, Mr. Smith and his Public Affairs Director, Karen Armstrong, said: “Yes, that’s exactly the message needed right now.” The film was shown to great acclaim at the NYBA convention last week. And the featured guest speaker, Doris Kearns Goodwin, remarked several times about why the film resonated. The author of “Team of Rivals” should know.
Respect for other people’s views makes for civil discussion. Civilized discussion makes for problem-solving. Problem-solving makes for progress. Our message to the body politic of our nation: Moderates, speak up, Fervently!
On September 23, 2019, Greta Thunberg, gave an impassioned speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. We created this piece not only to celebrate Greta’s valor, but also to encourage young people everywhere to stand up for what they believe.
Toward that end, the animator Mei Li and the writer, A.D. Woods are making their piece available to schools and conservation groups for use on social media and for projection at assemblies and special conferences. For information, e-mail here.
If you are as moved by Greta’s plea for the planet, please share this with your friends and colleagues.