On Nov. 8th, The Breakthrough Prize program hosted its annual award ceremony at the NASA Ames Centre. Touted as the Oscars for scientists, the event was hosted by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane.
The program, which was created by Haute 100 listers Jack Ma, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan as well as Anne Wojcicki, Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, was founded to acknowledge and honor those pioneering research in both math and science. The recipients of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics received a combined total of $21.9 million.
At the event, Zuckerberg said, “By challenging conventional thinking and expanding knowledge over the long term, scientists can solve the biggest problems of our time. 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 awards and recipients are as follows:
The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences included five prizes at $3 million each and was presented to:
Edward S. Boyden (MIT)
Karl Deisseroth (Stanford University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
John Hardy (University College London)
Helen Hobbs (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
Svante Pääbo (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology).
The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics at $3 million was awarded to five experiments investigating neutrino oscillation and will be shared equally among all five:
The teams include Daya Bay (China)
K2K / T2K (Japan)
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Canada)
The award was accepted by team leaders Yifang Wang and Kam-Biu Luk (Daya Bay); Atsuto Suzuki (KamLAND); Koichiro Nishikawa (K2K / T2K); Arthur B. McDonald (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory); and Takaaki Kajita and Yoichiro Suzuki (Super-Kamiokande). In totally all five teams are comprised of more than 1,300 participants.
The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics at $3 million was presented to:
Ian Agol (University of California at Berkeley and Institute for Advanced Study).
Event-goers enjoyed food by French Laundry chef Thomas Keller and a performance by Pharrell Williams. Celebrity presenters included: Russell Crowe, Hilary Swank, Lily Collins, and Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr of HBO’s Silicon Valley.
The event aired live on the National Geographic channel.
Photo courtesy of National Geographic