The 2014 Breakthrough Prizes were presented to innovative scientific researchers at NASA’s Hangar One at the Ames research facility in California over the weekend. The Breakthrough Prizes were started by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who made his millions investing in tech companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and has described himself as a “failed physicist”.
Of note, Breakthrough Prize winners also receive a check for $3 million.
Breakthrough Prizes presented by celebs
This year the Breakthrough Prizes awards ceremony was held at NASA’s Hangar One, and the awards were handed out by the tech titan-heavy board along with celebrities like Kate Beckinsale and Seth McFarlane, Cameron Diaz and Benedict Cumberbatch.
Statement from Mark Zuckerberg
“The world faces many fundamental challenges today, and there are many amazing scientists, researchers and engineers helping us solve them,” Mark Zuckerberg commented in a statement following the event
“This year’s Breakthrough Prize winners have made discoveries that will help cure disease and move the world forward. They deserve to be recognized as heroes.”
2014 Breakthrough Prize award winners
In the life sciences category, six scientists were honored for their research, including Alim Louis Benabid for his high-frequency deep brain stimulation treatment for Parkinson’s disease and Victor Ambros and Gary Ruvkun for their research on genetic regulation by microRNAs.
Five mathematicians also took home $3 million prizes each in the inaugural maths category. Their work included advances in quantum field theories and analytics.
In a first, over 50 researchers in seven teams will be sharing the 2014 Fundamental Physics prize, including Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess, who worked on the Supernova Cosmology project that provided evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, rather than slowing down, as had long been held.
The forward looking New Horizons in Physics prizes went to physicists working in the cutting edge fields of quantum matter, high-intensity electron beams and quantum gravity.