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Anna Webber; Tommaso Boddi; Araya Doheny
While the Nobel ceremony can be glamorous, science isn’t usually fêted by celebrity—though in the case of the ninth Breakthrough Prize ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, it is. James Corden MCed the Los Angeles event, with appearances by Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Lily Collins, Kristen Bell, Robert Downey, Jr, Magnus Carlsen, Danny DeVito, Brie Larson, Edward Norton, Mae Jemison, Leslie Odom, Jr, Chloé Zhao, and Lauren Ridloff. John Legend, Will.i.am and Estelle performed live at the ceremony, while Chris Isaak performed at the after-party.
The ceremony—the first live Breakthrough Prize event since 2019—can be viewed on YouTube from April 22 at noon PDT.
Over US$15 million are awarded annually, with each Breakthrough Prize at US$3 million, presented in the fields of life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. In addition, New Horizons Prizes in physics and mathematics are awarded to early-career researchers, at US$100,000, and the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize of US$50,000 is awarded to female mathematicians who have completed Ph.D. degrees and produced important results.
With the ceremonies having been on hold due to COVID-19, a select group of the previous three years’ winners will also receive their accolades publicly.
Those honoured at the 2023 ceremony included Shankar Balasubramanian (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Charles H. Bennett (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Gilles Brassard (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Katalin Karikó (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Jeffery W. Kelly (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), David Klenerman (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Yuk Ming Dennis Lo (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Pascal Mayer (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Peter W. Shor (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Daniel A. Spielman (Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics), and Drew Weissman (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences). Maggie Miller, Jinyoung Park and Vera Traub (Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers in Math Prize winners) and Breakthrough Junior Challenge winners Noor Haideri (2022), Amber Kwok (2021), and Maryam Tsegaye (2020) were also honoured at the show. Breakthrough Prize co-founder Yuri Milner spoke to the audience.
VIPs included Lionel Richie and Lisa Parigi, Christina Aguilera and Matthew Rutler, Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel, Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff, Vin Diesel, Maria Sharapova, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, David Foster and Katharine McPhee, Tobias Lindholm and Caroline Blanco, Veronica Grazer and Brian Grazer, Eileen Gu, Julia Milner, Dax Shepard, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Marilyn Katzenberg, Sarah Silverman, Ben Silverman, Charlie McDowell, Wendi Murdoch and Chloe Murdoch, Zsuzsanna Francia, Julia Carey, Shauna Robertson, Elaine Wynn, Hemant Taneja and Jessica Taneja, Leila Krafcik and John Krafcik, Ivan Dimov, Valeria Rodnyansky and Alexander Rodnyansky, Michael Kives, Nikesh Arora and Ayesha Thapar, Andrea Willms, Salman Khan and Umaima Marvi, Juan Carlos Belmonte and Concepción Rodriguez Esteban, Marcia McNutt, Jan Ellison Baszucki, Will Marshall, Jeremy Strong and Emma Wall, Stan Chudnovsky and Rimma Chudnovsky, Kenneth Leung and Breck Hancock, Matt Huang and Glara Ahn, Erica Zohar, Josh Fink, France Córdova, Leonid Solovyev, Pete Worden, Johanna Salsano and Sandro Salsano, Arielle Zuckerberg, Marc Stad and Elisa Stad, Patty Jenkins, Enrique Lores and Rocio Esteve, Juan Maldacena and Maria Maldacena, Simone Giertz, Raven Baxter, Carol Block and Gene Block, Damien Chazelle and Olivia Hamilton, Pouneh Beizai and Bobby Kotick, the Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, Tomislav Mihaljević, Ray Deshaies, Patricia Caldera-Munoz and Peter Walter, Hal Barron and Carol Cunningham, Josh Fink, Rick Hess, Frédéric Bouchard, Deborah Lifton and Richard Lifton, Stan Chudnovsky and Rimma Budnitskaya, Lynn Seely, Ariel Porat, Greg Verdine and Rebecca Lyu, Angela Chao and Jim Breyer, Aviv Regev, Hiraku Nakajima, Dave Farina, Denise Srivastava and Deepak Srivastava, Andy Huang and Sandra Liu Huang, Sam Pressman, George Petrocheilos, Ynon Kreiz, Robbie Schingler and Jessy Kate Schingler, Gene Block and Carol Block, Chamath Palihapitiya and Nathalie Dompé, Mae Jemison, Jamie Cate and Jennifer Doudna, Patty Jenkins and Sam Sheridan, Marco Perego Saldana, Cathleen Lynch and Roger Lynch, Michael Milken, Anne Wojcicki, Eric Yuan, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Vivi Nevo, Marco Sermoneta, and Huda Zoghbi.
Don Mischer directed the show, and Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare produced.