Biotechnology, September 2016 – The opening keynote for Biotechnology conference in San Francisco this past June was a brilliant pairing of two speakers – Forensic pathologist Dr Bennet Omalu and famous actor Will Smith.
What brought them together? The answer is – cinema.
Both of them are the characters of the movie “Concussion” that was released at the end of 2015 and many claimed that it deserved an Oscar nomination. It is the story of Dr Bennet Omalu (portrayed by Will Smith in the movie) who discovered and described a disease called CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy after a few dramatic accidents resulted in the early deaths of football players in Pittsburgh. For those who haven’t seen the movie I save writing a review, because it is worth going to see.
Dr Bennet Omalu talked on the stage about science for the sake of knowledge and the interrelationship of pure science and its faith. Will Smith talked about his reaction to the film. How he suddenly got concern about his son that likes to play football. Both men are very colorful characters. Omalu’s sense of humor and unstoppable laugh was dominating on the stage. Will Smith was talking about challenges in that role including Omalu’s accent and the laugh.
The film opened the public eyes at the challenges that players facing and shake the NFL world. Omalu who is dedicated to the science as investigating how the world works, and to this end, used his own money to investigate why the admired Steeler team football player Mike Webster, ended up his life alone, homeless and in unbearable pain. Omalu kept asking why that happened and why at so early an age. The road to acceptance of the discovery wasn’t easy but Omala believed and searched for truth no matter what.
As many attendees came being attracted by Will Smith presence they were taken by surprise and found Dr Bennet Omalu very interesting and compiling person.