The Breakthrough Prize announced that its seventh annual ceremony, known as the “Oscars of Science,” featured a musical performance by Academy Award winner and four-time Grammy Award winner Lionel Richie, and a special performance by China’s top-selling female artists and Artist of the Year G.E.M., who performed her song “Light Years Away,” which has achieved more than one billion views in just a year’s time.
The performers joined by a star-studded line-up of celebrity presenters. Hosted by acclaimed actor, producer and philanthropist Pierce Brosnan, the show took place on Sunday, November 4.
Orlando Bloom, Ron Howard, Julianne Moore, Thandie Newton, Lupita Nyong'o, Zoe Saldana and G.E.M. served as on-stage presenters during the ceremony, which recognizes scientists and scientific achievement, specifically in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics.
The ceremony held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and live-streamed on the Facebook and YouTube platforms of National Geographic and Breakthrough Prize
Silicon Valley’s Breakthrough Prize is sponsored by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. The world’s most generous science prize, the Breakthrough Prize honors paradigm-shifting research and discovery in the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics. This year, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation is awarding a collective total of $22 million to honor outstanding career achievement and emerging talent. A total of seven $3 million prizes are being awarded – four in life sciences, two in fundamental physics, and one in mathematics. In addition to the seven main-stage prizes, a total of six New Horizons Prizes, worth $100,000 each, is being awarded for early-career achievements in their respective fields.
The ceremony also revealed the winner of the fourth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge for students, and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation will award a $250,000 scholarship to a student whose original science video brings to life an important scientific or mathematical idea or principle. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win $50,000, and the winner’s school also receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000.
For the sixth time, the ceremony directed and produced, by Don Mischer, alongside executive producers Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare of Don Mischer Productions.
About the Breakthrough Prize
For the seventh year, the Breakthrough Prizes will recognize the world’s top scientists. Each prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences (up to four per year), Fundamental Physics (one per year) and Mathematics (one per year). In addition, up to three New Horizons in Physics and up to three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes are given out to junior researchers each year. Laureates attend a live televised award ceremony designed to celebrate their achievements and inspire the next generation of scientists. As part of the ceremony schedule, they also engage in a program of lectures and discussions.
The Breakthrough Prizes are sponsored by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. Selection Committees composed of previous Breakthrough Prize laureates in each field choose the winners.
Information on the Breakthrough Prizes is available at breakthroughprize.org.
About Don Mischer Productions
Don Mischer Productions (DMP) is an internationally acclaimed and universally respected production firm of television and live events. Led by Don Mischer and Charlie Haykel, along with Juliane Hare, DMP has consistently produced programs that share the best of the human experience, whether it be the work of our most acclaimed artists or the celebration of our most cherished monuments and greatest international events. They also always sit at the forefront of their craft, with an eye to innovate and advance the art form.
Some of their marquee productions include “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial”; “The Kennedy Center Honors”; an astonishing 14 Primetime Emmy Awards broadcasts; Super Bowl halftime shows (Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, among others); the Opening Ceremonies of both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games; and the 83rd, 84th and 85th Academy Awards. Other productions include the groundbreaking “Breakthrough Prize” and specials with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Bono, Prince, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder and Barbara Streisand, among others.
About National Geographic
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.