The Breakthrough Prize ceremony, which honors “scientists who are changing the world” with substantial cash prizes, took place in Hollywood on Saturday night for the first time, having previously been held in San Francisco – and the world’s top innovators were surrounded by more stars, than you can see in a telescope.
The ninth edition of the event — founded and financially supported by Sergei Brin, Priscilla Chan And Mark Zuckerberg, Julia Mueller And Yuri Milner And Anne Wojcickiand became known as the “Oscars of Science” – held on the open-air rooftop of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
James Corden hosted, as was the case in previous years; Moderators included Kristen bell, LiliCollins, Danny DeVito, Robert Downey Jr. (next to Zuckerberg), GalGadot, Ashton Kutcher, Brie Larson, Edward Norton, Leslie Odom Jr., Chris Kiefer And Chloe Zhao; John legend And Wilhelm carried out; and spectators included Christina Aguilera, Vin Diesel, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mila Kunis, Lionel Richie And Maria Sharapova.
But the real toasts of the night were the scientists, such as Drew Weissman And Katalin Karikowhose work was fundamental to the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID, and who were greeted with a prolonged standing ovation as they took the stage to accept the Breakthrough Prize in Life Science for which they were selected in 2022. (There was no In-Person Breakthrough Prize event in 2020, 2021 or 2022 due to the pandemic.)
At this year’s awards, which was produced by Don Mischer by Don Mischer Productions with scenic design by BasilWalter BW Architects awarded the Breakthrough Prize winners a total of $15.75 million.
The event’s top honor is Breakthrough Prizes in three categories – Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics – with each recipient receiving a cash award of $3 million for their entries.
Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences were awarded to:
- Clifford P. Brangwynne, Princeton University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Marine Biological Laboratory; And Anthony A HymanMax Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics for discovering “a fundamental mechanism of cellular organization mediated by the phase separation of proteins and RNA into membraneless liquid droplets”.
- Demis Hassabis and John Jumper, DeepMind; for “the development of a deep learning AI method that quickly and accurately predicts the three-dimensional structure of proteins based on their amino acid sequence.”
- Emmanuel MignotStanford University School of Medicine and Masashi Yanagisawa, University of Tsukuba; for “the discovery that narcolepsy is caused by the loss of a small population of brain cells that produce a wakeful substance, paving the way for the development of new treatments for sleep disorders.”
The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was shared by four people for fundamental work in the field of quantum information:
- Charles H BennettIBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
- Giles BrassardUniversity of Montreal
- David GermanUniversity of Oxford
- Peter W ShorWITH
The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics was awarded to:
- Daniel A. SpielmanYale University, for “contributions to theoretical computer science and mathematics, including spectral graph theory, the Kadison-Singer problem, numerical linear algebra, optimization, and coding theory”.
In addition, six New Horizons awards, each valued at $100,000, were shared by 11 young scientists and mathematicians, chosen for having made an early but significant impact on their field.
And three Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes, each worth $50,000, were awarded to women mathematicians who have recently completed their PhDs and achieved important results.
The New Horizons in Physics Prizes were won by:
- David Simmons-DuffinCaliph. Institute of Technology
- Anna GrasellinoFermilab
Six scientists shared a New Horizons award for their development of optical tweezer arrays to be used in quantum information science, metrology and molecular physics:
- Hannes Bernie University of Chicago
- Manuel EndreCaltech
- Adam M KaufmanJILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado
- Kang Kuen NiHarvard University
- Hannes PiclerUniversity of Innsbruck and Austrian Academy of Sciences
- Jeff ThompsonPrinceton University
New Horizons in Mathematics awards were presented to:
- Ana CaraianiImperial College London and University of Bonn;
- Ronen EldanWeizmann Institute of Science and Microsoft Research
- James MaynardOxford University and Institute for Advanced Study
The 2023 Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes were awarded to:
- Maggie MillerStanford University and Clay Mathematics Institute (PhD Princeton University 2020)
- Jinyoung ParkStanford University (PhD at Rutgers University 2020)
- Vera TraubUniversity of Bonn (Doctorate University of Bonn 2020)