The subject of last year’s hit movie A Beautiful Mind was honored at a banquet Saturday at Temple University’s Diamond Club.
The O. Spurgeon English Humanitarian Awards recognized the unique contributions to medicine and science made by pioneers in their fields.
John Forbes Nash Jr., the focal character of A Beautiful Mind, was among the list of 11 honorees.
Nash received a standing ovation when he was called to receive his award.
Nash won the 1994 Nobel Prize in economic science for his mathematical contributions to “game theory.”
Nash was lauded for making the story of his battle with schizophrenia accessible to the public, giving inspiration to many who suffer from mental disease.
Nash made light of his disease in his acceptance speech.
“I haven’t usually thought of myself as a humanitarian,” Nash said.
“So when I heard this, I was sitting there with my wife … I was thinking, what is a humanitarian? And then I realized that when I was really insane and delusional, I did think of myself as humanitarian.”
Nash added that he feels the creators of the motion picture A Beautiful Mind “are really worthy of the award in terms of [humanitarianism].”
Nash’s mind was not the only one to be honored.
Dr. Doris J. Rapp, who is outspoken against increasing public reliance on prescription drugs, was named “Woman of the Year.”
The author of eight books, she advocates a new method of allergy testing and treatment called “Provocation / Neutralization.”
“I make a sincere attempt to educate the public to try to realize that it’s extremely important to figure out why you are sick, and then figure out what to do about it,” Rapp said, “If you rely solely on drugs, you will probably never get well, because it’s sort of like having a nail in your foot; the answer’s not to take a band-aid or a different ointment, the answer is to take out the nail.”
In the field of academia, an award was given to Professor Emeritus William A. Tiller, of the Stanford University Department of Materials Science.
For the past 30 years he has been pursuing the experimental and theoretical study of what he calls “psychoenergenics,” which deals with the influence of human intention on physical reality.
“We are all spirits having a physical experience as we ride the river of life together,” said Tiller, “Your spirit-self is inside of a multi-layered bio-body suit, which is like a diving belt, and you experience what you think is outside by looking at signals that come along neural channels.”
“No one has seen the outside; [it is viewed] only through this neural continuum,” he continued, “That’s what we humans are all about.”
The “Man of the Year” award was given to Dr. C. Norman Shealy, who developed the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and dorsal column stimulation.
These two procedures are now widely used in the treatment of pain.
Shealy commented that Temple University has a reputation of being open to new concepts, with a medical school that is “more open to alternatives than any other medical school in the country.”
Other honorees included Dr. Vijendra K. Singh, noted for his work in “unraveling the mysteries of the 20-fold increase in autism,”
Dr. Esther Pearl Roberts, a psychiatrist with the State Department, Dr. William J. Rea, for his work in environmental medicine, Dr. James S. Gordon, Chair of the White House Commission on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, Dr. Sharry Edwards, who created the “New Science of Voice Prints,” Dr. Joan Amtoft-Nielsen, who set up 20 cancer clinics across Europe and former First Lady Betty Ford for her work as a spokesperson on alcoholism and drug addiction.
Ford was unable to attend the ceremony.
Following the banquet, Nash said, “It’s not simply that my life has affected people…but the fact that there was this movie, and that many people saw the movie made them think about mental illness, and mental situations, hospitals, doctors, everything, in a fresh way … it gives them another picture.”
Amy Reed can be reached at email@example.com.