I met Ali 12 years ago. It was at a fancy Australian American fundraiser in New York. As a junior scientist, I was completely outside my comfort zone (It was only the second time I ever wore a tux; the first was at my year 12 formal). In a cavernous hall full of amazing people (from TV personalities to media moguls), he was by far the biggest star amongst a sea of stars. Ali was the one all the guests wanted to get a photograph with.