Facebook, Google, and Alibaba Co-Founders Award $25 Million to Researches in Scientific Breakthroughs [Video]By Julia Ramirez, UniversityHerald Reporter
Facebook, Google, and Alibaba co-founders awarded generous prizes in math, life sciences, and physics. Top scientists, A-list celebrities, and tech billionaires converged at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley for a ceremony similar to Oscars that celebrated achievement in science on Sunday evening.
Three million dollars were granted in the fifth year of the Breakthrough Prizes in mathematics, fundamental physics, and life sciences. Fifteen prizes were bestowed by a committee of past recipients that included six $100,000 New Horizons Prizes for early accomplishments in careers and a $250,000 Breakthrough Junior Prize for a teenager who has made an outstanding video that explained scientific concepts, as reported by Fortune.
This started when Russian billionaire and investor Yuri Milner and his wife Julia stated that they would grant yearly theoretical physicists for outstanding achievements in science that started in 2012. This scientific advocacy has grown since 2010 and there was an expansion of the number of disciplines. These scientific patrons included Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his better-half Priscilla Chan, Google's Sergey Brin, Alibaba's Jack Ma and wife Cathy Zhang, and biotech firm 23 and Me's Anne Wojcicki.
Milner, in an interview with Fortune, studied physics before making it big on different high-profile Internet ventures, lamented that scientists obtain less recognition from the public than musicians, celebrities, and movie stars. He reiterated that there is imbalance as fundamental science has great influence in humanity.
Milner, Mail.ru's former CEO, emphasized the recent discovery of gravity waves as one achievement that has taken hold of him. Three leaders and LIGO project's thousand team members were awarded with the Breakthrought Prize for being successful in the validation of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Milner further said that this award brings attention to the great work that scientists have done. Milner also is a philanthropist of various science initiatives that include Breakthrough Listen, Breakthrough Starshot, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project.