The following is an excerpt from the Liberty Science Center’s recent press release:
Liberty Science Center Genius Gala To Honor Chris Messina, Hashtag Inventor; Martine Rothblatt, Biotech And Satellite Radio Pioneer; And Drs. Sally And Bennett Shaywitz, The World’s Leading Experts On Dyslexia
JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The hashtag has become the defining communications symbol of the 21st Century, thanks to a simple idea conceived by a Silicon Valley product designer more than a decade ago. When that designer first proposed the hashtag to executives at then-nascent Twitter as a way to create identifiable groups on the platform, he was turned down flat and told: “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.” On Monday, May 13, that nerd, Chris Messina, will be hailed as a “Genius.” He is one of the recipients of Liberty Science Center’s prestigious 2019 Genius Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Center.
Genius is certainly also an apt description of the Genius Gala’s other honorees. Martine Rothblatt is the founder, chairwoman, and chief executive officer of United Therapeutics, which she established to find a cure when her then young daughter was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal disease. Not only did she succeed, her company now offers five FDA-approved drugs; four for that disease and one for neuroblastoma.
Then there are Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz, who through their 35 years of research as co-founders and co-directors of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, totally debunked the myth that people afflicted with dyslexia were less intelligent. Working together, this husband-and-wife team discovered dyslexia’s neurological basis, pioneered effective therapies, and changed public attitudes about the most common learning disorder in the United States.