By Yusra Arub
He Jiankui, Tiger Woods, Christine Blasey Ford and Mark Zuckerberg were among Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2019, which was announced mid-April.
He — a Chinese scientist and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford from 2011 to 2012 — was listed following claims that he and his research team bioengineered the world’s first gene-edited baby. Amid international criticism of He, Stanford undertook a fact-finding review in early April before concluding that Stanford faculty had “no research, financial or organizational ties” to He. The review did highlight He’s interactions with Stanford researchers during his time as a postdoc, showing that several were aware of his work but discouraged him from pursuing it.
Woods, listed under the list’s “Titans” category, attended Stanford from 1996 to 1998 before leaving to pursue professional golfing. After enormous success on the pro circuit, Woods entered a period of drought in 2008 and faced public criticism for infidelity. He also battled injuries and was jailed for reckless driving in 2017. Yet in April of this year, Woods made a comeback, capturing his fifth Masters Title and 15th major tournament victory — his first in 11 years.
“All the work he did when people weren’t watching allowed him to hug his children on the same hallowed ground he hugged his father 22 years ago, amid all the adulation, a Masters champion once again,” musician Justin Timberlake wrote in his Time tribute to Woods.
Christine Blasey Ford
After Ford publicly accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, she was met with both praise and criticism for her story. Ford, who taught in a consortium with Stanford at the time of the accusations, was listed by Time as an “Icon.”
“Ford’s ambition wasn’t to become a household name or make it onto this list,” wrote California Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris. “She had a good life and a successful career — and risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence.”
Kavanaugh himself was also named on the Times list, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the Justice as “one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in modern history.”
Mark Zuckerberg, though not a Stanford alumnus or direct affiliate, also made the list amid ongoing public debate over the impact of social media on democracy and society. In 2016 Zuckerberg founded the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub with his wife Priscilla Chan; the $600 million dollar investment collates resources for biotech and science research between Stanford, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco.
A previous version of this article stated that the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub was founded with a $60 million dollar investment, when the actual amount was $600 million. The Daily regrets this error.
Contact Yusra Arub at yusraarub19 ‘at’ mittymonarch.com.