Nearly $22 million in prize money was awarded Sunday night by Silicon Valley’s “Breakthrough Prize,” given to scientists who are making fundamental discoveries about the universe, life and the mind.
“By challenging conventional thinking and expanding knowledge over the long term, scientists can solve the biggest problems of our time,” said Facebook CEO and Prize co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. “The Breakthrough Prize honors achievements in science and math so we can encourage more pioneering research and celebrate scientists as the heroes they truly are.”
The $21.9 million Breakthrough Prize was founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Prizes are funded by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation; Mark Zuckerberg’s fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Jack Ma Foundation; and the Milner Global Foundation.
The money, distributed to scientists all over the world, was awarded Sunday night at the 3rd Annual Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony at Moffett Field in Mountain View. The ceremony held at NASA’s Ames Research Center was hosted by Seth MacFarlane, with a live performance by Pharrell Williams, and expected presenters Russell Crowe, Hilary Swank, Lily Collins, and Kumail Nanjiani & Martin Starr of HBO’s Silicon Valley.
“This year’s laureates have all opened up ways of understanding ourselves,” said biologist Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and chief executive officer of the personal genomics company 23andMe.
Mathematics: Ian Agol (UC-Berkeley);
Life Sciences: Edward S. Boyden, Karl Deisseroth (Stanford), John Hardy, Helen Hobbs, and Svante Pääbo;
Fundamental Physics: Leaders and members of five Experiments Investigating Neutrino Oscillation: Daya Bay (China); KamLAND (Japan); K2K / T2K (Japan); Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Canada); and Super-Kamiokande (Japan).
New Horizons in Physics: B. Andrei Bernevig, Liang Fu, Xiao-Liang Qi (Stanford); Raphael Flauger, Leonardo Senatore (Stanford); and Yuji Tachikawa.
New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes: Larry Guth and André Arroja Neves.
Junior Challenge: Ryan Chester
A number of select Breakthrough Prize laureates presented at a symposium on Monday November 9 at UC-Berkeley.
For more information: http://breakthroughprize.berkeley.edu/symposium. Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, Lisa M. Krieger
Photo: Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences winner and cholesterol researcher Helen Hobbs arrives at the third annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Mountain View, Calif. (Photo by Peter Barreras/Invision/AP) ( Peter Barreras )