Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Silicon Valley, CA, United States (4E) – Scientists from around the world conferred the Breakthrough Prize, the “Oscars of Science” and the richest science prize in the world, received their rewards Sunday at a lavish gala ceremony at Silicon Valley, California.
The 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to Charles Kane and Eugene Mele (University of Pennsylvania).
The 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics was awarded to Vincent Lafforgue (CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research, France) and Institut Fourier, Université Grenoble Alpes).
The 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences was conferred on Xiaowei Zhuang (Harvard University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute); Zhijian “James” Chen (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Howard Hughes Medical Institute); C. Frank Bennett (Ionis Pharmaceuticals) and Adrian R. Krainer (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) and Angelika Amon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute).
This year, a total of seven $3 million prizes were awarded to nine researchers, including the 2018 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics presented to Jocelyn Bell Burnell (University of Dundee and University of Oxford) for her role some 50 years ago in the surprise discovery of the pulsar and lifetime of inspiring leadership.
In addition, three $100,000 New Horizons in Physics Prizes totaling $300,000 were awarded to seven early-career physicists, and three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes totaling $300,000 were awarded to five early-career mathematicians.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge (a global, science-video competition) recognized Samay Godika, with a $250,000 scholarship and an additional $150,000 in educational prizes for his science teacher and school.
The gala also honored the late Stephen Hawking.
“Stephen Hawking urged us to ‘look up,’ – to open our eyes and our minds to the wonder of the Universe. At the heart of all science is that spirit of curiosity,” said Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner.
The New Horizons in Physics Prize was awarded to: Brian Metzger (Columbia University); Rana Adhikari (California Institute of Technology), Lisa Barsotti (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Matthew Evans (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Daniel Harlow (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Daniel L. Jafferis (Harvard University), and Aron Wall (Stanford University).
The New Horizons in Mathematics Prize was awarded to: Chenyang Xu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research); Karim Adiprasito (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and June Huh (Institute for Advanced Study); Kaisa Matomäki (University of Turku) and Maksym Radziwill (California Institute of Technology).
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